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.