u-blox Creates Smallest GPS Receiver Module

u-blox has taken its award-winning positioning technology and slashed its size to unrivaled dimensions. The new AMY module, at just 6.5 x 8 x 1.2 mm, is the smallest GPS receiver module available anywhere on the market. This module is ideally suited for applications where space is at a premium and expand the possibilities of GPS integration beyond those that are already capturing the imagination of consumers. AMY can be embedded in applications including mobile phones, PDAs, wristwatches – and even in innovative products such as Microsoft’s MapPoint 2009 USB stick/software combination, which hit the market in August 2008, today incorporating u-blox GPS chips.

With AMY, the u-blox family becomes even more attractive because it integrates easily into virtually any compact consumer appliance. “In fact,” explains Thomas Seiler, u-blox CEO, “because AMY is a standalone receiver that needs no external components other than an antenna and power, the total size of a GPS receiver based on this module is roughly half of a design implemented with GPS chips and support circuitry – even our own powerful u-blox 5 chips. And as an added benefit, the use of a module dramatically cuts the engineering effort needed to add GPS capabilities to a product, which has an enormously positive impact on time to market. Finally, if you consider total system cost including design, setting up and running test facilities as well as logistics and manufacturing, it’s considerably less expensive to add GPS functions using AMY.”

Thanks to its extensive expertise at both the chip and module level, u-blox could create the AMY module. “Design engineers now have every possible option when integrating GPS technology,” adds Seiler. “We have spent years refining our chips, but we have also gathered considerable experience in actual applications, which have motivated us to further improve our industry leading module technology. This results in devices that have become progressively smaller yet more capable, and now with AMY we’ve set another new industry benchmark for ultra-small complete GPS receiver modules.”

AMY is based on the u-blox 5 positioning engine, to which Frost & Sullivan has just given its 2008 Global Award for Product Innovation of the Year in the category of GPS products. This award recognizes this technology’s innovation and ability to satisfy the diverse needs of its customers. “While u-blox 5 has been well accepted in portable and handheld devices, it has also been highly successful in the automotive market, where major car manufacturers are integrating u-blox 5 into their automotive products,” explains Frost & Sullivan Research Manager Raman Monga.

Even though an AMY module is only a quarter of the size of its predecessor module, the NEO series, it offers the same high performance based on the u-blox 5 GPS engine. Highlights include 1-second Time to First Fix, 160 dBm sensitivity and advanced jamming mitigation techniques.

Engineering samples of AMY modules (pdf) will be available at the end of 2008 with volume production following in the course of 2009.

u-blox will be showcasing AMY at the ION GNSS 2008 conference, 16-19 September, Savannah, USA at booth 222/224.

About u-blox
u-blox is a fabless semiconductor positioning solutions provider for the automotive, mobile communications and infrastructure markets. u-blox develops chips and complete modules based on the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) including GPS and GALILEO. Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Switzerland, the u-blox group is listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange and has offices in the USA, in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.