CPS, SiGe Semiconductor and Shanghai Simcom (“Simcom”), a wholly owned subsidiary of SIM Technology Group Limited (SEHK:2000), today announced the world’s first Enhanced GPS (E-GPS) multimedia handset solution for GSM. The S788 handset solution, designed by Simcom, is a lightweight, palm-sized device delivering advanced multimedia features including high accuracy location based services (LBS), while optimizing performance, cost and battery life.
The S788 multimedia handset solution offers an MP3/MPEG4 player, touchscreen, and two megapixel camera in a slim, lightweight case. The handset’s E-GPS location capability is enabled by SiGe Semiconductor’s SE8088L Global Positioning System receiver and software, and CPS’ Enhanced-GPS software. The combination of SiGe’s and CPS’ technologies provides unparalleled performance, including accurate location fixes with a sub-four second time to first fix, in even the most challenging environments. As a result, consumers can enjoy new location services in indoor and dense urban areas, where satellite-based positioning systems tend to fail.
“We evaluated location technologies, and found E-GPS to be the best option for fast, accurate location fixes in all environments,” said Gong Zhenjun, Senior Vice President and General Manger of Simcom. “This new development builds upon our relationship with CPS and our existing Matrix-enabled products which are meeting end user requirements for the delivery of fast, accurate location fixes in the most challenging indoor and outdoor environments.”
E-GPS solves key design challenges
GPS has failed to gain traction in the 1.5 billion customer-strong GSM market because it faces two key challenges: first, both GSM and W-CDMA are unsynchronised network technologies. This means performance of GPS-enabled devices is compromised, resulting in slow time-to-fix and limited coverage area. Second, where GPS does fail to deliver a location, the end user experiences a lengthy delay and eventual fallback to a low accuracy technology – such as Cell-ID – which may have an error of up to several kilometers.
“Our starting point with E-GPS was the end-user experience,” said Chris Wade, Chief Executive Officer, CPS. “We know from what operators tell us that A-GPS performance does not meet today’s customers’ expectation of mobile data services. As one major operator told us recently – 70 percent of all location-based services are initiated indoors. That means GPS will simply not meet end user requirements.”
E-GPS delivers the required quality of end-user experience through a powerful combination of satellite-based and terrestrial location measurements from the GSM network. Using precise knowledge of the base station timings inherent in Matrix technology, E-GPS delivers time synchronization aiding to SiGe’s SE8088L receiver integrated in the mobile, enabling 10x faster GPS time to fix and the ability to receive much lower power signals.
“We are pleased with how Simcom’s new S788 handset solution illustrates the benefits of our receiver and CPS Matrix technologies,” said Stuart Strickland, product line director, SiGe Semiconductor. “The handset solution demonstrates the integration, performance and efficiency of our GPS radio, and provides all of the features that will enable Simcom to take advantage of the growing market opportunity.”
The S788 which will be readied for launch later this year, has improved battery performance, as E-GPS requires only 1 percent of the effort of traditional GPS devices, which use up valuable power searching for satellite signals.