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GNSS chip market heats up with focus on Asia

With more than half of all smartphone sales now occurring in Asia, chipmakers are keenly focused on the priorities of Asian users. Location and mapping technologies are key requirements for Asian smartphone users, according to Broadcom (BRCM), which has just launched a new global navigation satellite system (GNSS) chip that generates positioning data from five satellite constellations simultaneously. An important addition is the Chinese BeiDou satellite system, which Broadcom says will increase accuracy by up to 100% in China.

Switzerland’s u-blox also makes a GNSS chipset that is compatible with the BeiDou satellite system. u-blox recently won a contract to supply Longsung, a major subcontractor to several Chinese smartphone manufacturers. The company says it has seen revenue double from roughly $100 million to $200 million in the past year as demand for location tracking chipsets intensifies.

The next important trend may be indoor location tracking technology. u-blox recently told RCR that smartphone users want to use GPS to find friends, family, and retail establishments inside large indoor locations like malls and airports.

GPS receivers also facilitate timing for small cells. U-blox discussed these products recently at Small Cells Americas.


Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports ( At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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