Software Based GNSS GPS Receiver Provides a Cost-effective Solution for Location-based IoT Applications

Cadence Design Systems and Galileo Satellite Navigation (GSN), a developer of multi-system Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) products, have developed a software-based GNSS global positioning system (GPS) receiver. The software-based GNSS global positioning system (GPS) receiver from Galileo Satellite Navigation is now available for the Cadence Tensilica Fusion F1 DSP. The Cadence Tensilica Fusion family is a scalable range of general purpose DSP processors designed with flexible options to give designers the ability to shape the DSP into exactly what their application needs.

The software-based GNSS receiver allows customers to easily add full GPS functionality with design flexibility and long-term upgradeability at a minimal cost, low power, and no physical size to today’s cost-sensitive IoT applications. To get the lowest possible power, Galileo Satellite Navigation (GSN) accelerated the performance of its GPS software receiver by creating several custom instructions to run on the Tensilica Fusion F1 DSP (Digital Signal Processor). As a result, the GPS software requires less than 110 MHz for full 12-satellite functionality. Additionally, with this software-based solution, customers can reduce the overall processor requirements to meet less-demanding location-based use cases like asset tracking.

According to GSN CEO, Eli Ariel, the Tensilica Fusion F1 DSP delivers outstanding performance for the implementation of GSN’s GNSS receivers, providing a low-power footprint required for IoT applications. This enables customers to easily upgrade their Fusion F1 DSP-based designs to future satellite systems such as Beidou, GLONASS and Galileo via software. By leveraging several customized instructions in the Fusion F1 DSP, GSN has been able to keep the required processor speed at the same frequency compared to DSPs with more than 3X the processing power.

The Tensilica Fusion F1 DSP offers low-energy, high-performance control and signal processing for a broad segment of IoT/wearable markets. This highly configurable architecture is specifically designed to excel at always-on processing that requires a merged controller plus DSP, ultra-low energy and a small footprint. The DSP is very efficient in running the narrowband wireless communications standards typically associated with IoT device communications, including protocols such as Bluetooth Low Energy, Thread and Zigbee using IEEE 802.15.4, Wi-Fi 802.11n and 802.11ah, and global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).

Cadence demonstrated the solution at Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona earlier this month.