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Low-power GNSS module targeted at small consumer devices

September 11, 2017  - By

u‑blox has introduced a new member of its ZOE‑M8 series of ultra-small GNSS system‑in‑package (SiP). The ZOE‑M8B is a power-efficient GNSS SiP designed available for small battery-powered consumer devices. It combines superior performance with ultra-low power for portable and wearable devices in the fitness, health monitoring and personal tracker markets, the company said.

The ZOE-M8B by u-blox is designed for small consumer products. (IMAGE: u-blox)

Small battery-powered devices are defined by their limited size, weight and power — any GNSS solution targeting this application space must provide exceptional performance while consuming minimal system resources.

The ZOE‑M8B has been designed for this class of applications. It consumes 25 mW on average in most environments (including urban), and as little as 12 mW during instantaneous tracking. This is a three-fold improvement in power efficiency when compared with other variants in the ZOE‑M8 series.

“The ZOE‑M8B SiP offers the best trade-off between power consumption and location accuracy,” said Uffe Pless, u-blox positioning product manager. “This will enable manufacturers to develop entirely new battery-powered devices that integrate GNSS functionality, without comprising performance or the user experience.”

The ZOE‑M8B uses u-blox’s proprietary Super‑E mode of operation, which automatically adjusts the power consumed by the system components based on the external conditions.

The footprint of a design with a chip and individual external components is about 50 percent larger than the printed circuit board (PCB) footprint of the ZOE-M8B. Measuring 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.0 mm, the ZOE‑M8B integrates a GNSS receiver, TCXO, SAW and LNA, making it easy to add accurate location and positioning functionality to almost any device, u-blox said.

The ZOE-M8B is the latest addition to the ZOE-M8 GNSS module family, which consists of the ZOE-M8G for 1.8- powered devices and the ZOE-M8Q for 3.0-volt devices, both focusing on maximum accuracy.

u-blox will display the ZOE-M8B at MWC Americas in booth N.352 (M2M Zone). The show takes place Sept.12-14 in San Francisco.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.