Motorola Unveils Tiny GPS Chip

Motorola Unveils Tiny GPS Chip


Motorola, Inc., working with IBM Microelectronics, today introduced Motorola Instant GPS, a breakthrough technology for adding accurate location sensing to virtually any vehicle at half the cost of current systems.

Motorola Instant GPS is a self-contained, single-chip, assisted global positioning system (A-GPS) receiver. The device measures 7mm x 7mm, small enough to fit into almost any automotive application and easily added to existing platforms. Because of its compact size and affordability, the Instant GPS makes the technology available to all classes of cars and trucks. Until now, GPS technology as original equipment has traditionally been limited to high-end vehicles.

“With the combined technology of Motorola and IBM, GPS systems will no longer be confined to luxury vehicles. In fact, the Instant GPS chip costs less than adding power mirrors as an option,” said Jacqui Dedo, vice president and general manager of worldwide market operations, Motorola Automotive. “The device is smaller, less expensive and consumes less power than alternative two- or three-chip systems, making location-enabled devices such as E-911 compliant cellular phones possible and opens up a whole world of other automotive applications.”

Motorola Instant GPS is the first truly single-chip GPS solution in the world, combining Motorola’s GPS design with IBM’s leading-edge silicon germanium (SiGe) chip-making technology. The companies worked together to integrate IBM’s technology to optimize the design. IBM plans to manufacture new GPS devices for Motorola, with sample quantities planned for first quarter 2003 and full production parts planned for second quarter 2003.

“IBM’s technology enabled Motorola to reach its performance goal of detecting GPS signals so faint they’d be comparable to those received in Detroit from a light bulb burning in Tokyo,” said Walt Lange, associate director for foundry services, IBM Microelectronics. “Our silicon germanium technology can be used to combine the function of many chips into one, helping reduce size and power consumption, while improving performance. Our work with Motorola is another example of our commitment to making advanced technologies available to our foundry customers.”

“Functioning at 20dB greater than today’s systems, the Instant GPS is extremely sensitive, allowing vehicles to be located virtually anywhere, including under dense trees, in a parking garage, or even a chop shop,” said Tim McCarthy, director of positioning systems for Motorola Telematics. “The Instant GPS also can service consumers in just four seconds compared to current GPS systems which can take up to two minutes to warm up,” he added. “It’s like having instant heat on a cold winter morning.”