When we think of global satellite navigation systems (GNSSs), we usually think of the U.S. Global Positioning System. Yet other GNSSs around the world include Russia’s GLONASS, Japan’s Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), and Europe’s partially completed Galileo system. Designed for smart phones and other portable navigation devices, Broadcom’s BCM4752 covers all of these standards (see the figure).

The third-generation receiver’s new architecture provides the industry’s first true multi-constellation support by simultaneously collecting GPS, GLONASS, QZSS, and satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) data and using the best received signals, resulting in faster searches and more accurate real-time navigation.

Coupled with Broadcom’s advanced signal processing and multipath mitigation techniques, the chip’s industry-breakthrough acquisition engine provides faster time-to-first-fix (TTFF) performance, especially in challenging urban environments where buildings and obstructions can dramatically impact accuracy and speed. The result is a tenfold improvement in performance for fast and accurate global positioning, while opening the door to innovative applications.

The chip and accompanying software benefit from tight integration with Broadcom’s InConcert wireless connectivity subsystem, which uses data from the BCM4752, sensors, Wi-Fi access points including 5G Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth Low Energy to calculate indoor and outdoor position with new levels of speed and precision.

This advanced system enables new opportunities for indoor navigation capabilities with enough accuracy to direct users to specific stores within shopping malls and even to specific shelves within those stores. Integration with near-field communications (NFC) will enable smarter, more secure mobile payments, with users able to specify specific countries, cities, or even stores where mobile wallets can or can’t be used.

The BCM4752 requires less power as well. Its 8-mA current drain in the low-power mode means it uses 50% less power than previous generations, ensuring less battery drain on a device and allowing for location-aware applications to be on longer.

Fabricated in a 40-nm process, the BCM4752 is the industry’s smallest GNSS chip, accounting for 44% less board space. It’s available in a chip-scale package (CSP) with an area of roughly 5 mm2. Integrated components such as the low-noise amplifier (LNA) and surface acoustic wave (SAW) filter minimize total bill of materials.

And, the BCM4752 addresses new applications with a proven software platform capable of navigation by integrating Wi-Fi positioning and handset inertial sensor readings in the navigation solution and integrating handset inertial sensor readings in the position computation.

Production-ready samples of the BCM4752 are available now.

Broadcom Corp.