Broadcom launches GPS-Bluetooth-FM combo chip

Broadcom launches GPS-Bluetooth-FM combo chip
Broadcom yesterday announced a new combo chip integrating GPS, Bluetooth and FM transceiver in a single chip design. The BCM2075 is particularly adapted to mobile handsets, portable media players (PMPs) and personal navigation devices (PNDs) that wish to integrate Bluetooth, GPS and FM transceiver functionality.

Broadcom expects this product will be interesting for mid-range cell phones where, unlike smartphones, small size does matter. “By designing this solution in 65nm process technology, Broadcom is able to provide significant benefits over competitive solutions in 90nm and 130nm processes by enabling smaller size and lower power consumption”, said a press release.

The GPS core of the BCM2075 uses a host-based integration architecture that splits the processing duties between the BCM2075 and the host CPU system. “With this 65mm implementation, the GPS consumption is well below 10mW”, said Scott Pomerantz, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom’s GPS line of business. “We have implemented in the software a low power tracking mode that allows shutting down the GPS for small period of time which obviously saves power. We believe we deliver 50% better power performance when compared with today’s leading solutions on the market.”

This combo chip also provides integrated support for other positioning technologies. Broadcom has developed its own cell-ID database and has partnered with Skyhook Wireless to offer Wi-Fi positioning (read more here).

Optimistic about GPS market
Broadcom is already sampling this combo chip to key customers and expects they will have cell phones on the market with this product before the end of 2009. The Californian Company remains optimistic for the growth of the GPS phone market this year, despite the difficult macroeconomic conditions. At the same time Broadcom do not believe the PND market will go away. “We are not seeing the market taken away by cell phones”, explained Scott Pomerantz yesterday in an interview with GPS Business News. He also expects to find some new growth markets in adding GPS to Netbooks as well as in digital cameras and mobile gaming, even if those segments will be niche markets compared to cell phones.

Tuesday, February 10th 2009

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