For the first time in a handheld device, NXP Software's swGPS Personal performs all the signal processing necessary to measure GPS satellite signals and calculate your position entirely in software. Running on the handheld device's normal processor (a Samsung 2440 400Mhz platform), it eliminates the need for a separate GPS baseband processing chip, saving board space, cost and boosting performance. Plus, with GPS functionality handled in software, the device can be easily modified or upgraded without the need for hardware changes.
“The GPS software has been optimized for automobile navigation, resulting in excellent performance while driving through tunnels (signal re-acquired in one second) and roundabouts”, said Dr. Chris Marshall, General Manager, NXP Software, Location Technologies.
NXP creates dedicated software solutions according to the device using the GPS. A camera, a Personal Media Player or a Portable Navigation Device don’t have the same GPS requirements because they are not used in the same way. swGPS code can be adapted to each solution to offer the best experience, explained Dr. Chris Marshall to GPS Business News.
NXP Software's swGPS is the result of a research program started at Philips in 2000 - NXP was previously known as Philips semiconductor; the very first results being unveiled in 2003 at the 3GSM World Congress. NXP software R&D teams are based in the United Kingdom and Bangalore, India.
The same day we interviewed Chris Marshall at CeBIT we also spoke with Kanwar Chadha, founder and Vice President of marketing at SiRF Technology. When asked about it Mr. Chadha told us software GPS could not compete against hardware solutions in a PND because it would require too much power from the processor. It looks like NXP did it.