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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Approaching Navigation Nirvana: GNSS Antenna Module Supports All Satellites

As reported by M2M World NewsSwiss-based u blox, a global leader in cellular and positioning modules and integrated circuits, introduces the CAM-M8Q GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou/QZSS antenna module. 

The module integrates a u-blox M8 satellite receiver IC plus SAW filter, LNA, TCXO, RTC, passives and a pre-tuned GNSS chip antenna in a tiny 9.6 x 14.0 x 1.95 mm package. Just add power for instant stand-alone global positioning!
Combining low power consumption with high-sensitivity, high jamming immunity and concurrent GNSS operation (GPS/GLONASS, GPS/BeiDou, or GLONASS/BeiDou) the surface-mount CAM-M8Q is truly a drop-in solution for reliable and accurate satellite positioning anywhere in the world.
“Our CAM-M8Q is perfect for customers designing highly compact products who want to speed up product development while freeing resources for core activities,” explains Thomas Nigg, VP Product Marketing at u-blox.
CAM-M8Q is ideal for a wide range of applications such as personal locators, handheld navigators, wearable electronics as well as vehicle telematics systems used for emergency call, anti-theft, insurance and road pricing. Consistent omnidirectional antenna performance insures excellent performance regardless of module orientation.
It also has a feature whereby the internal chip antenna can be used as a backup antenna if the design makes use of an external antenna. This is an important feature for applications where there is a risk that the primary external antenna may malfunction or suffer damage, for example in vehicle tracking systems where damage to the external antenna is possible.
The module uses the latest u-blox M8 GNSS receiver chip qualified according to AEC-Q100 and is manufactured in ISO/TS 16949 certified sites. Qualification tests are performed as stipulated in the ISO16750 standard: “Road vehicles – Environmental conditions and testing for electrical and electronic equipment”.
The CAM M8Q is form-factor compatible to predecessor modules UC530 and UC530M, allowing the upgrade of existing designs with minimal effort.
Now, if we can get ublox to add in an integrated eLORAN receiver, and MEMS (micro-mechanical sensors that include an accelerometer and gyroscope for short term inertial navigation) - we'd have a nearly perfect tracking product - potentially with jamming detection.  They already have the MEMS interface available in a different module (the 3D ADR), so they are very close to reaching navigation nirvana.