Report: Incredibly Accurate GPS Chips are Coming to Smartphones Next Year
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GPS on smartphones today can be hit or miss for a lot of people. There are times in which it is actually right on point, but then there are other times that it seems to pin you on a completely different street, usually taking far too long to correct itself. Android has tried to improve this
by triangulating your location from a number of sensors including GPS, WiFi, Cellular, etc. However, this issue could be coming to an end soon as Broadcom has just unveiled a new GPS chip that is said to bring 30-centimeter accuracy.
Most GPS chips in smartphones today claim to be within 5 meters of accuracy when it comes to determining your location. As mentioned, Android tries to improve this by using data from other components in your smartphone. For instance, you’re only using the GPS sensor in your smartphone if you have the location mode set to Device Only. A lot of people will bump this up to Battery Saving mode though and it will try to figure out your location using WiFi, Bluetooth or your mobile network.
Some Android features require you to have the location mode set to High Accuracy though, and this is when your phone will use data from GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth and your mobile network. This whole method could change in the future if Broadcom’s new chip is widely accepted in the smartphone market. The company was recently at the ION GNSS+ conference in Portland and it was there that they showed off their new GPS chip called BCM47755.
Instead of the 5-meter accuracy target that current GPS chips have, Broadcom claims this new one will be able to narrow your location down to about 30 centimeters. The new chip is said to work better in the city with a bunch of concrete surrounding you, and should use about half the battery life compared to what we see in devices today. Broadcom has even said the new chip has been included in the design of some smartphones slated for release in 2018, but didn’t give any details on which ones or who they would be from.