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Atmel and Magellan Introduce New GPS Chipset Generation

High Performance GPS Positioning Platform Integrated with an ARM9 Microprocessor and New GPS RF Receiver Targeting PND Applications

Atmel has announced the availability of a new GPS chipset that integrates the world's latest GPS correlation technology with an ARM926EJ-S -based microprocessor. This new device includes an extended instruction set with DSP extensions and a rich set of peripherals, designed to simplify the design, and drive down system costs, for the rapidly expanding market for Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs), car navigation, and recreational applications.

The ARM9-powered ATR0663 includes a state-of-the-art GPS baseband and an LCD controller with integrated 2D graphics accelerator for virtual screen support of 2048 x 2048 pixels, an AC97 audio controller, as well as an image sensor interface. Numerous I/O options including Ethernet, USB 2.0 Full Speed Host and Device, SD/MMC, TWI, and USARTs provide a highly-targeted System-on-Chip (SoC) solution for PND applications. In addition, a dual external bus interface and 9-layer bus matrix allow for fast memory access and high throughput without loading the microcontroller.

The new GPS engine, based on Magellan's GPS technology, boasts capability for the fastest acquisition of satellite signals, with a hot start in less than 2 seconds, and the highest tracking sensitivity (-159 dBm) available. The advanced GPS technology employs the power of tens of thousands of correlators to achieve rapid satellite acquisition and reliable tracking under weak signal conditions.

Rounding out the new chip set introduction, the companion ATR0603 RF receiver IC maximizes the performance of the new GPS engine while combining low cost and low power consumption of only 12 mA in operation.

Also compatible for use with the new chipset is Atmel's existing ATR0610, a fully-integrated, low-noise amplifier manufactured using Atmel's innovative Silicon-Germanium (SiGe) process to cope with challenging reception environments and enabling cost-sensitive passive-antenna designs.

The ATR0603 and ATR0663 continue Atmel's lead in providing the highest performance GPS solutions in this rapidly expanding market. The new GPS engine with its massively parallel correlator concept will also be an integral part of Atmel's ongoing extension of its consumer GPS portfolio, developing tailored solutions for key GPS market segments.

“The release of this new RF receiver and ARM926EJ-based device sets a new standard for the combination of high-performance GPS with a complete system processor that has all the peripherals necessary to meet the needs of the growing PND market. It is an ideal complement to our automotive-grade ANTARIS GPS solution,” commented Matthias Kaestner, Atmel's Marketing Director for Communications Products.

“Atmel's new hardware is optimized to run Magellan's most powerful software platform to provide PND makers with a complete navigation and mapping solution powered by a single SoC. PND suppliers can use this hardware and software platform to provide solutions with a customized look and feel for diverse markets,” said Mike Mouser, Senior Technical Director for the Magellan OEM Business.

The company's Web site address is http://www.atmel.com/.
[Reprinted with kind permission from Atmel Corporation]

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