The future of GPS Chips: Sony to launch low powered GPS chipset aided by motion sensors


Any smartphone user who has used GPS for navigation or location based services would know how much of a “Battery Hog” GPS on the phones can be. They drain your battery at an exponential rate.

SONY - low powered GPS Chipsets
SONY – low powered GPS Chipsets

Thankfully, Sony was paying attention to it and all this will end soon. Sony is all set to launch ultra-low powered GPS chips D5600 and D5601, which are limited to use only about 10 mW of power for its operation.

Its futuristic not only because it’s such a low power Chipset but also because of it’s ability to interact and integrate itself with other sensors like the Accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. Typically bundled together as Motion sensors that are mainstream in most smartphones these days. Imagine being able to navigate using your Mobile GPS without “Battery Hogging” and being able to get much better position accuracies at the same time. Now that’s something I hope I can get my hands on in the immediate future.

The use of Motion sensors is not going to reduce the time it takes for the first fix i.e. the time it takes to get a location when we first switch on our Mobile GPS. It’s going to help reduce the time it takes to get a location when we lose GPS signals in a tunnel, etc. The main purpose of using motion sensors is to be able to supplement the location computation when we don’t have GPS satellites to help locate our position. Its basically using GPS+IMU

But I am surprised that Sony isn’t going to utilize wireless technologies in combination with GPS which  would allow smooth integration of Indoor and Outdoor positioning. I am hoping that they would. The chips however would be able to use GPS, GLONASS, SBAS and QZSS apart from MEMS. Quite a few constellations for a chip that is billed as ultra-low power consuming.

When can you get one of these? did I say Immediate future! Okay, if you consider production time, product verification, etc soon is sometime next year maybe! Considering the fact that these chips are scheduled for launch this June and the smartphone manufacturers will then have to build their phones around it.

Until then, for all of us for whom its a choice between getting lost or losing battery life; I suggest portable chargers 😉

Sources: Tech Wired

I am one of those passionate "Geo-geeks" and "Geo-people" who is just too excited about everything Geo and Management. Location information and spatial technologies are just too big to take a back seat and watch them revolutionize the world. Always curious and looking for ways to innovate, I guess that it comes naturally by the gene pool I inherited from an engineer Mom and a researcher Dad.