Atmel has expanded its GPS device offerings with the industry's first 14-channel, GPS baseband IC to carry a low $5 price tag and three-metre accuracy. The chip was developed jointly with Thales Navigation for the Magellan eXplorist handheld GPS units. Thales licensed the GPS IP to Atmel in December 2004.
The Baldur GPS baseband IC achieves horizontal resolution of as little as one metre, corrected, and three metres, autonomous. Vertical resolution is five metres (corrected) and velocity is measured to within 0,1 m/s. The chip's superior acquisition (-137 dBm) and tracking (-150 dBm) sensitivities are possible because Baldur can receive and process signals from as many as 12 different tracking satellites at the same time. Additionally, it has two satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) channels for wide area augmentation system (WAAS), European geostationary navigation overlay service (EGNOS) or multifunctional transport satellite augmentation system (MSAS). The maximum position update rate is once per second.
Developed specifically for portable use, the chip uses only 70 mW (continuous use at 16 MHz), and 18 mW in power-saving mode. Time-to-first-fix takes less than 90 seconds from cold start, 30 seconds from warm start and only 15 seconds from a hot start. Once fixed, signal re-acquisition is under a second.
The Baldur ATR0640 comes in a 12 x 12 mm LFBGA package.
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