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RFID/GPS/Location Channel / Industry News

TI’s SimpleLink GPS CC4000 brings GPS capabilities to microcontroller-based applications

March 28, 2012
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Adding to the family of easy-to-use SimpleLink™ connectivity solutions, Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) introduced the SimpleLink GPS CC4000 solution — the company’s first broadly available GPS solution. The self-contained module minimizes complexity synonymous with adding GPS functionality to products. For example, the push-to-fix function is hardware-controlled through a single general purpose input and output (GPIO); simply switch on the GPIO to receive National Marena Electronics Association (NMEA) strings containing location, time and velocity information. The SimpleLink GPS CC4000 solution operates with any microcontroller (MCU) or microprocessor (MPU) while sporting an aggressive, sub-100mm2 form factor. As a result, a wide range of customers gain the ultimate flexibility when designing GPS-based applications such as asset tracking, industrial M2M, sports and fitness, and precision timing. For complete details, visit: www.ti.com/cc4000-pr.

“TI’s GPS technology has shipped in hundreds of millions of smartphones and portable navigation devices over the past 10 years,” said Eran Sandhaus, general manager, embedded connectivity solutions, TI. “As part of our SimpleLink family strategy, we are excited to offer the SimpleLink GPS CC4000 solution for embedded microcontroller applications, an easy to attach, self-contained GPS solution that is cost- and size-effective and requires little to no RF expertise.”

The SimpleLink GPS CC4000 delivers better than 2.5 meter accuracy and pulse-per-second output functions to provide precise location and timing data. Its “watchful-eye” feature optimally uses the solution memory for automatic reuse of previously decoded satellite information to deliver ultra-fast time to first fix (TTFF) and optimization of the overall system power consumption. These features and more support the movement of navigation and location based services into non-traditional GPS-enabled devices that can make use of location, time and velocity data. Additionally, the SimpleLink GPS CC4000 expands into many popular applications such as asset tracking, material exploration and sports and fitness stat monitoring and new markets driven by GPS-enabled precise timing data.

The hyper-precise timing capabilities driven by the SimpleLink GPS CC4000 solution also open up a wealth of power-efficient MCU-based use case possibilities, creating compelling end experiences. For example, highly-accurate scheduling can kick-off a marketing campaign by displaying event messages on multiple electronic signs at one specified time. For applications requiring time-stamped records such as banking systems or the recording industrial system failures, the exact time can be recorded down to a fraction of a micro-second.

SimpleLink GPS CC4000 key features and benefits

 

Features

Benefits

  • Driverless, fully integrated GPS solution
  • Reduced system complexity
  • Requires < 1% of the code size compared with other GPS solutions on the market
  • Up to 1 kB RAM and 1.5 kB FLASH maximum required for slim driver
  • Delivers a quick, low-cost path to adding GPS capabilities to MCU- and MPU-based products
  • NMEA protocol communication
  • Better than 2.5 meter tracking accuracy
  • Autonomous cold start TTFF of 35 seconds in open sky signal conditions
  • Autonomous hot start TTFF of about 1 second in open sky conditions
  • Timing accuracy <100 nanoseconds
  • Based on sixth generation of TI’s GPS technology
  • Proven solution with best-in-class performance
  • Precision timing and accurate location information
  • Sample applications
  • Production-ready module from GNS
  • Customized evaluation kit from GNS
  • Documentation and sample software for MSP430 microcontrollers
  • Manufacturers can get started quickly on the development of GPS-enabled devices

 

Availability 

  • The SimpleLink GPS CC4000 is in production.
  • SimpleLink GPS modules (part number TC6000GN) by GNS are available through Arrow Electronics World Wide. For more information on the GNS TC6000GN module visit: www.tc6000.gns-gmbh.com/index.php?article_id=16&feature=1.
  • The SimpleLink GPS CC4000 evaluation kit (CC4000GPSEM) is available today through the TI eStore for $39.99, and will be available through authorized distributors.
  • Additionally, to add SimpleLink GPS CC4000 capabilities to an ultra-low-power MSP430 MCU, TI offers documentation and sample software for the MSP430F5529 Experimenter Board (MSP-EXP430F5529), which is available separately. Beyond the MSP430F5529, the SimpleLink GPS CC4000 can be used in conjunction with any MSP430 MCU including the MSP430 16-bit ultra-low-power MCU Value Line due to its very small memory requirements.

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