Atmel, u-blox Unveil Single-Chip ATR0635 GPS Receiver

Atmel(R) Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML), a global leader in the development and fabrication of advanced semiconductor solutions, and u-blox AG, a leading provider of innovative GPS receiver technology, announced today the availability of their latest weak-signal tracking GPS technology in an ultra-small form factor. The new single-chip ATR0635 measures just 7 x 10 mm, and integrates a complete ANTARIS(R) 4 GPS receiver including ROM-based SuperSense(R) software in a 96-pin BGA package. The small size plus the extremely low power consumption (62 mW in continuous power mode) make the ROM-based ATR0635 an excellent fit for handheld and mobile applications such as mobile phones, PDAs, smartphones, after-market navigational products, and recreational consumer products. Other products such as GPS ‘plug-in’ accessories for PCs, small GPS mice, Bluetooth(R) GPS devices, and other accessories equipped with GPS functionality will also enjoy the single chip’s advantages in terms of small size, reduced power needs, and built-in features such as the ANTARIS 4 USB port. Its high tracking sensitivity of -158 dBm allows for weak-signal tracking in urban canyons and even indoors.

The 96-pin, ball-grid-array single chip has an excellent cost-performance ratio due to needing only a few external components. The ATR0635 also brings benefits such as simplified chipset integration which accelerates design projects for ANTARIS 4-based products. A shorter bill of materials translates into lower design risks. Lower PCB costs are achieved thanks to a 45% reduction in footprint and a simplified board layout, but also by reducing costs in purchasing, stocking and mounting due to the low number of components. Like all ANTARIS 4 chipsets, the ATR0635 supports serial EEPROM memory, which is a cost- and space-efficient alternative to Flash EPROMs for storing custom configuration settings. The on-chip USB connectivity eliminates the need for an expensive serial-to-USB converter, which makes ANTARIS 4 products plug-and-play devices for any PC environment by emulating a standard COM port to the operating system.

“Combining indoor GPS capability with a low-power, single-chip GPS receiver perfectly fits the needs of our customers and enables them to address new, fast-growing market segments like PDAs and smartphones,” said Atmel’s GPS Product Line Manager, Frank Gruson.

“The ATR0635 opens exciting new avenues for OEMs looking for high-performance GPS receivers to use in mass market applications with low power and small size requirements. SuperSense indoor GPS functionality means it can be used inside buildings, cars and in other difficult signal conditions without tracking interruptions,” commented Georg zur Bonsen, Product Manager at u-blox.

The single-chip device is based on the 16-channel ANTARIS 4 product generation, which comes with full WAAS/EGNOS support and provides state-of-the-art functionality such as Assisted GPS (A-GPS) with a TTFF as low as four seconds. The ATR0635 operates on 62 mW, but its power saving modes, together with built-in power management capabilities, can bring power down to as low as 5 microamps, enabling power critical applications such as mobile devices to operate longer without having to compromise functionality.

As an optional extension to the ANTARIS 4 chipset, the ATR0610, a fully integrated, low-noise amplifier manufactured using Atmel’s innovative Silicon-Germanium (SiGe) process, is available for use in challenging reception environments and enables cost-effective antenna designs.

ATR0635 samples in 7 x 10-mm 96-pin BGA packages are available now. Atmel and u-blox offer a complete evaluation kit including ultra-small footprint example design which helps to dramatically shorten development cycle times.

About u-blox
u-blox is an international company headquartered in Switzerland, with sales organizations in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Founded in 1997, u-blox develops leading positioning technology, products and services based on the Global Positioning System (GPS) for the automotive and mobile communications markets. Go online for more info about the ATR0635 GPS receiver. To talk to our sales staff, try these contact numbers.

About Atmel
Atmel is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of microcontrollers, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and radio frequency (RF) components. Leveraging one of the industry’s broadest intellectual property (IP) technology portfolios, Atmel is able to provide the electronics industry with complete system solutions. Focused on consumer, industrial, security, communications, computing and automotive markets, Atmel ICs can be found Everywhere You Are(R).