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A super-efficient GPS module could become a game changer for fitness trackers - u-blox

White Paper: Low power & high performance

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When it comes to portable applications such as smart wearable platforms (e.g. watches or trackers), manufacturers have struggled to find the best balance of size and performance resulting in a lower‑than‑expected adoption rate that has disappointed many traders.


Much of the challenge has been around the GNSS antenna, which has to be very small to fit inside a wearable product. The extreme size‑related constraints on antenna design inevitably involve performance compromises. Compromised antenna designs result in weak signals and the antenna placement (e.g. on wrist) can generate very high dynamics for the receiver even with moderate movement from the user. As a result, GNSS receivers are hard pressed to decode signals and provide accurate positions. As well, a short battery life due to small batteries has always been one obstacle, if not the primary obstacle, for wearable GNSS applications. The paradox of performance and low power has consistently limited GNSS adoption in this market.


Customers want GNSS positioning implemented in small and battery powered devices, yet with accurate performance. The challenge is to use hard performance requirements in parallel with reduced power spending to enable new market opportunities. To this end, Swiss‑based u‑blox has developed the new super‑efficient Super‑E mode running on its new UBX‑M8230‑CT GNSS chip and ZOE‑M8B System in Package (SiP) solution, a next generation answer to the power versus performance challenge in the wearable market.


Learn more and download our white paper !