Out in Front: All-Day, Everywhere for All

January 1, 2015  - By
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We appear incompletely before you this month. A funny thing happened on the way to the presses: we discovered that we had more content than pages in which to squeeze it. “All the news that fits to print,” the motto of the New York Times, can in this instance not be ours. All the news just won’t fit!

First to feel the axe, lamentably, was Innovation, an article on the Python receiver; you will see it in February. Also pushed to the near future is reporting on the recent Stanford PNT Symposium; it appears in the December GNSS Design & Test e-newsletter, see the website if you don’t yet subscribe. Herewith, an ultra-brief account of a presentation by Greg Turetzky, Intel. The reporters identified this paper and one on BeiDou as “harbingers of change in the industry.”

The Turetzky paper, “Ubiquitous Location: Challenges and Opportunities of  Enabling All-day, Everywhere Location for All Mobile Platforms,” laid out the phenomenal growth of location-based services and the implications for design requirements in GNSS-wireless at the user device and silicon levels. The compound annual growth rate of GNSS devices will continue, from its current 22 percent level to a robust 9 percent for the years 2016–2022, and heading for seven billion installed units by 2022.

From Greg Turetzky’s Ubiquitous Location paper, presented at Stanford PNT Symposium.

From Greg Turetzky’s Ubiquitous Location paper, presented at Stanford PNT Symposium.

Cutting to the chase, the design challenges for GNSS are to:

  • Take advantage of smaller geometries to achieve higher clock speeds, more memory, lower active power and smaller size, while reducing standby power from leakage;
  • Incorporate new methodologies in chip and system design; integrate multiple radios on a single die to reduce cost and size;
  • Integrate multiple radio sources into a single location solution;
  • Bring together a disparate value chain.

The technology roadmaps embrace most modalities of positioning: GNSS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cellular, and SBAS, and cross most platforms, including wearables. “We think that another, unemphasized challenge,” reporters Litton and Langenstein note, “is in the increasing density of these units with the current specifications on out-of-band emissions and the spectrum sharing and spectrum management factors in the ubiquity of the devices.”


Tune in to our free webinar Receiver Design for the Future, with Greg Turetzky of Stanford speaking on Ubiquitous Location, scheduled for Jan. 15 (1 p.m. EST/ 10 a.m. PST/ 6 p.m. GMT). Register today!

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Alan Cameron is the former editor-at-large of GPS World magazine.

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