New Smartphone Chips Will Allow 30cm GPS accuracy

In a current world, where distances are becoming shorter, accurate navigation is getting more and more valuable. All smartphones have integrated GPS chips and navigation apps like Google Maps. Most of us experienced that our GPS isn’t accurate enough for navigation app to tell if I am on the highway or on the road beside it.

Current smartphone GPS chips listen to L1 radio signals emitted from GPS satellites, at a 1 MHz frequency, and use signals from different satellites to triangulate the position of the device to a 5 meters radius. Broadcom announced that it is sampling the first mass-market chip that can give the next generation of smartphones 30-centimeter accuracy instead of today’s 5 meters. Newer GPS satellites also broadcast a L5 radio signal, at a 10 MHz frequency. By combining the two signals, chips can calculate the device’s position to a 30 cm radius. Until recently there weren’t enough L5 GPS satellites in oribt, but starting 2018, chip manufacturer Broadcom will support L5 signal analyis.

The new chip works in a city’s concrete canyons, and it consumes half the power of today’s generation of chips, it also was included in the design of some smartphones slated for release in 2018, but Broadcom would not reveal which. Since most smartphones use Broadcom technology, soon your phone GPS will be much more accurate.

Source: IEEE Spectrum

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