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Introduction to the SONY Global Navigation Satellite System Receiver Chip 2016-05-16

SONY is now offering a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) chip with a power consumption of just 10 mW. The chip is therefore well-suited to GNSS receiver modules intended for mobile devices or smart phones.

Satellite positioning service is now used by the general population. Smart phone apps, for example, have made this function indispensable in everyday life. Navigation services guide us to where we want to go, while network services allow us to upload photos with information about our travel destinations. Graphics software can also let us mark the routes we traveled. This type of measurement and positioning information is now extensively used in all kinds of products such as smart phones, tablets, and digital cameras. Enabling the positioning service however consumes power reducing the endurance of the battery on mobile devices. Acquiring and displaying location information indoors poses another challenge as well.

To overcome these challenges, SONY developed a new chip with integrated radio and digital circuitry. The radio circuitry contains professional-grade low-power analog-to-digital (AD) converter, low S/N amplifier and phase-lock loop circuits, while the digital circuit is designed to use less power, optimizes the power control circuit and providing an independent clock. Power consumption of conventional radio circuits usually exceeds 10 mW but SONY successfully reduced this to create a GNSS receiver chip that consumes just 10 mW, the lowest in the industry.

The SONY chip combines the functions of various sensors and processing focuses on merging highly-accurate positioning data from the different sensors in a smart phone such as accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyroscopic sensor. In indoor or other environments where the satellite signal is not available for measuring the position, SONY’s positioning technology can use inertial navigation to provide highly precise positioning information.

The chip is compatible with five satellite systems including GPS, GLONASS, QZSS, SBAS and IMES. Due to its low power consumption and high measurement accuracy, the chip is suitable for both outdoor and indoor applications. SONY is applying this chip to smart phones and many other products including digital cameras, onboard navigation systems and wristwatches. Due to the low power consumption the positioning function can be enabled at any time increasing the opportunities for new products and services.

SONY GNSS receiver chip specifications:

 Information based on the SONY website:

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