Broadcom Introduces New Location Architecture with Advanced Multi-Constellation and Indoor Positioning Support

March 24, 2012  - By
Image: GPS World

Broadcom Corporation, maker of semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, has introduced a new location architecture to provide more responsive outdoor and indoor positioning capabilities for smartphone devices. With proven third-generation multi-constellation support and tight integration with sensor components and Broadcom’s connectivity sub-system, the new solution opens the door to innovative applications, such as indoor positioning and place-based mobile commerce, Broadcom said.

The architecture features a new GNSS chip that significantly reduces time-to-first-fix (TTFF) for outdoor positioning applications, cutting the time smartphone users have to wait when first checking their position, Broadcom said. The platform solution also uses data from inertial sensors, Wi-Fi access points (including those based on recently announced 5G Wi-Fi), and future technologies such as Bluetooth beacons to enable ground-breaking indoor positioning capabilities, such as “personal shopper” applications that can direct users to specific stores within shopping malls, and even specific shelves within those stores. In addition, platform integration with NFC enables smarter, more secure mobile payments, with users able to specify countries, cities or even stores where digital wallets can be used, Broadcom said.

The BCM4752 GNSS chip provides advanced multi-constellation support by simultaneously collecting data from four satellite constellations (GPS, GLONASS, QZSS, and SBAS) and using the best received signals, resulting in faster searches and more accurate real-time navigation. Building on the success of previous GNSS chips, Broadcom’s multi-constellation technology, coupled with advanced signal processing, provides faster positioning performance for improved user experience, especially in challenging urban environments where buildings and obstructions can dramatically impact accuracy and time-to-fix, Broadcom said.

The new chip and accompanying software are tightly integrated with Broadcom’s InConcert wireless connectivity sub-system, featuring the most advanced and complete technology offering in the industry. By developing its various connectivity components to operate as a unified system, Broadcom can offer more expansive location features that extend beyond GNSS capabilities, the company said.

Key Features and Benefits:

  • Enhances performance and reliability:
    • Acquisition engine with advanced multipath mitigation techniques provides faster time-to-first-fix performance in challenging environments, as well as a more accurate urban navigation experience.
    • Multi-constellation capability collects data from four satellite constellations (GPS, GLONASS, QZSS, and SBAS) simultaneously and uses the best received signals, resulting in faster signal searches and more accurate real-time navigation.
  • Low board space, power consumption, and cost:
    • Fabricated in 40-nm process, the BCM4752 is tiny, occupying 44 percent less board space in a device.
    • Integration of key components such a low noise amplifier (LNA) enables low bill of materials cost.
    • The BCM4752 uses 50 percent less power than previous generations, allowing location-aware applications to remain active for longer periods of time.
    • New applications such as geofencing that provide alerts or services based on location can be completely off-loaded from the smartphone’s CPU for ultra-low system power operation.
  • Opens doors to new applications, with a proven software platform capable of:
    • Ground-breaking indoor positioning through integration of Wi-Fi (including 5G Wi-Fi), Bluetooth low energy, NFC and handset inertial sensor data into positioning applications.
    • Urban navigation by applying handset inertial sensor readings into the position computation.
    • Assisted GNSS (AGNSS) with both GPS and GLONASS assistance data available worldwide from Broadcom’s hosted reference network.


The BCM4752 is production ready and shipping to early access partners.

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