Wearables

Ultra-low power positioning accuracy for wearables

10th November 2020
Lanna Cooper

u-blox has announced the u-blox M10, its latest highly integrated GNSS (global navigation satellite system) platform designed fully in-house for ultra-low power high-performance positioning applications. u-blox M10 provides highly accurate positioning performance in a wide range of wearable applications such as sport watches or asset and livestock trackers, all in an extremely compact format and with very long battery life.

The new u-blox M10 positioning platform can track up to four GNSS constellations at once to deliver positioning data even in challenging environments such as deep urban canyons. The receiver’s Super-S technology helps distinguish positioning signals from background noise to capture positioning data even when satellite signals are weak. Its high RF sensitivity also enables it to work well with small antennas, making it well suited for compact product designs. In sport watches, for instance, u-blox M10 guarantees highly dynamic positioning accuracy during a run in cities, woods, or under an open sky, while preserving battery life.

u-blox M10 is designed to consume 12mW in continuous tracking mode, five times less than the power consumed by previous u-blox meter-level GNSS technology, making it ideal for battery-powered applications. u-blox M10’s enhanced RF sensitivity also cuts the time it takes for the platform to achieve a first position fix when initialised, further reducing systemic power consumption. And switching to the improved Super-E mode can extend battery life even more.

This new GNSS platform will be supported by AssistNow, u-blox’s well established assisted GNSS service, to accelerate positioning and improve accuracy. Depending on the required level of assistance, the service is available free of charge or for a recurring fee.

The u-blox M10 platform benefits from u-blox’s experience in building robust GNSS receivers, incorporating proven techniques for detecting spoofed signals through the analysis of raw GNSS data, jamming-detection strategies, and embedded filters to mitigate the effects of in-band RF interference.

“u-blox can be proud of over 20 years of experience with GNSS technology, and with u-blox M10 we are setting a new benchmark in ultra-low power high performance positioning applications,” said Bernd Heidtmann, Product Manager, Product Center Positioning, u-blox. “We have increased concurrent reception of satellite signals by a GNSS platform from three to four constellations and improved the power consumption level five-fold compared to previous generations while shrinking the chip size by 35%.”

The first products based on the u-blox M10 positioning platform are the MAX- M10S GNSS module and the UBX-M10050 GNSS chipset, which are both available now. Design-in of the new u-blox M10 platform is enhanced and simplified with the newly designed u-center GNSS evaluation software.

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