Broadcom Wants Your Smart Watch To Have GPS

Broadcom is looking toward the future with its latest innovation. The company just rolled out its Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) system-on-chip (SoC) thatEUs designed for low-power, mass-market wearable devices such as fitness trackers and smart watches.

According to Broadcom, its BCM4771 GNSS SoC with on-chip sensor hub makes it possible for consumers to more accurately track and manage their health and well-being by delivering precision activity tracking and location data while consuming less power than traditional architectures. The company said its chip also extends battery life needed by the growing wearable market.

"Today's wearables like fitness trackers have surged in popularity, but often miscalculate speed and distance," said Mohamed Awad, BroadcomEUs director, Marketing, Mobile and Wireless Group. "As the largest supplier of discrete GNSS solutions, Broadcom brings its location expertise to deliver more precise fitness and health measurements to the accelerating wearable market."

How Does It Work?

BroadcomEUs innovation could pay dividends sooner rather than later. According to ABI Research, wearable wireless device revenues are projected to exceed $6 billion in 2018 with sports, fitness and wellness as the largest segment with 50 percent share of all device shipments.

HereEUs how it works: The new chip constantly monitors user activity levels and location history to improve accuracy and comes with advanced features such as location batching. BCM4771 also promises to significantly reduces power consumption and board area by combining its location capabilities with an integrated sensor hub, contextual awareness, and GNSS.

Designed in 40 nanometer process technology, the new chip includes a sensor hub that integrates sensor inputs for its on-chip algorithms to detect the user's context, accurately compute speed and distance traveled, and provide fitness applications with the GNSS track. Broadcom says it achieves power savings and advanced accuracy by intelligently leveraging context detection through the tight coupling...

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