Broadcom launches new location architecture for smartphone devices

USA: Broadcom Corporation, provider of semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, has launched new location architecture to offer more responsive outdoor and indoor positioning capabilities for smartphone devices.

Main highlights:

  • 10x acquisition performance improvement offers faster and more precise position computation
  • Leading 40nm CMOS process minimizes power consumption by 50 percent and board area by 44 percent
  • Ability to leverage sensors, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC enables advance consumer applications
  • Integration on recently launched Broadcom BCM28155 platform brings feature-rich location functionality to Android 4.0 smartphones

The new solution promises a bright future for innovative applications, like indoor positioning and place-based mobile commerce. The architecture is integrated with a new Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) chip that considerably minimizes time-to-first-fix (TTFF) for outdoor positioning applications, cutting the time smartphone users have to wait when first checking their position. The platform solution also uses data from inertial sensors, Wi-Fi access points (including those based on recently announced 5G WiFi) and future technologies such as Bluetooth beacons to enable innovative 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. Additionally, 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.

Key features include:

  • Enhances performance and reliability:
  1. Industry-breakthrough acquisition engine with advanced multipath mitigation techniques offers faster time-to-first-fix performance in harsh environments, as well as a more precise urban navigation experience.
  2. Multi-constellation capability gathers data from four satellite constellations (GPS, GLONASS, QZSS and SBAS) concurrently and utilizes the best received signals, resulting in faster signal searches and more precise real-time navigation.
  • Lowest board space, power consumption and cost:
  1. Fabricated in 40nm process, the BCM4752 is the industry’s smallest size GNSS chip, accounting for 44 percent less board space in a device.
  2. Integration of key components such a low noise amplifier (LNA) enables lowest bill of materials cost.
  3. The BCM4752 uses 50 percent less power than previous generations, enabling location-aware applications to remain active for longer time periods.
  4. New applications like “geofencing” that offer 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:
  1. Innovative  indoor positioning through integration of Wi-Fi (including 5G WiFi), Bluetooth low energy, NFC and handset inertial sensor data into positioning applications.
  2. Industry-leading urban navigation by applying handset inertial sensor readings into the position computation.
  3. Best in class assisted GNSS (AGNSS) with both GPS and GLONASS assistance data available worldwide from Broadcom’s hosted reference network.



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