CSR, a fabless mobile chip design firm that specializes in WiFi and Bluetooth, purchased SiRF, a fabless mobile chip design firm that specializes in GPS, back in February of this year, has just announced a new chip based on the brand spanking new SiRFstarIV architecture known as the SiRFstarIV GSD4t. The chip’s ability to search for GPS signal is twice that of the previous SiRFstarIII architecture. It consumes only 50-500 microamperes when obtaining a fix, and can even achieve a sensitivity of -160 dBm without the assistance of a network. The whole chip takes up less than 20 square millimeters and samples are available now, with full blown production expected to begin in October of this year. What does this mean for you as a consumer? Longer battery life, especially if you’re like me and have become completely dependent on Google Maps and have lost the ability to comfortably travel more than 500 meters away from your apartment without getting lost.
“I am very pleased that we are able to launch such a major, breakthrough technology so soon after our merger with SiRF,” said Joep van Beurden, CEO of CSR. “Today’s announcement significantly strengthens our GPS product offerings and our location technology portfolio.”
“Radio frequency interference within a portable consumer product, such as from embedded Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and mobile radios, as well as LCD screens, can easily inhibit GPS performance, and often does not become apparent until shortly before the product is due to go into production. This can easily add months of delay until the issue is resolved,” said Dave Huntingford, Director of Product Management for CSR’s Handset Business Unit. “Our unique active jammer removal not only solves this issue, but can pinpoint for designers much earlier in the development process the precise strength and source of these interfering signals, enabling them to be contained in the design phase rather than in later, more costly test phases.”