March 2, 2006

Trimble announces Ultra-Thin Copernicus GPS Module

trimblelogo.gifUpping the ante in the GPS chip wars, Trimble has announced a thin, low power GPS chip that can handle tough, low signal situations, according to the company. You might think, "So What!", but as chips improve, we get better devices. So these developments increase the pressure on the already nimble chip field to produce better chips and then we get innovations like the Garmin Forerunner 305 product with better signal reception and long battery life.

Trimble introduced today its new Copernicus(TM) GPS receiver -- a thumbnail-sized, surface-mount, low power module ideal for adding Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities to Bluetooth appliances, sport accessories, personal navigators or cameras, computer and communication peripherals as well as vehicle tracking, navigation, and security products. With major advancements in performance, sensitivity and startup times, the Copernicus GPS module enables system integrators to easily add GPS capability to a mobile device with minimal impact on its size or battery life at a very economical price.

Trimble's Copernicus GPS receiver will be showcased at CeBIT, the world's largest trade fair for digital IT and telecommunication solutions, March 9-15 in Hanover, Germany.
The Copernicus GPS module is a complete drop-in, ready-to-go receiver that provides position, velocity and time data. The receiver features the new Trimble TrimCore(TM) patented software technology that provides extremely fast startup times and high performance in foliage and urban canyon environments. Compatible with active or passive antennas, the Copernicus GPS receiver can be used in next-generation portable handheld, battery-powered applications.

Designed for the demands of automated high-volume production processes, Copernicus is a complete 12-channel GPS receiver in a 19mm x 19mm x 2.5mm shielded module. The small, thin, single-sided receiver is packaged in tape
and reel for pick and place manufacturing processes. It features a 28 reflow-solderable edge castellation interface so the module can be incorporated in a product design without costly I/O and RF connectors. Each module is manufactured and factory tested to Trimble's highest quality standards. In addition, the Copernicus GPS receiver has been designed to meet restrictions on the use of hazardous substances under the RoHS European
Directive.

The ultra-sensitive Copernicus GPS receiver can acquire satellite signals and generate position fixes with high accuracy in extremely challenging environments and under poor signal conditions. The receiver consumes typically
93.9 milliwatts (31.3 milliamps) at full power with continuous tracking. The Copernicus GPS module is available in three protocols. Trimble's powerful TSIP protocol offers complete control over receiver operation and provides detailed satellite information. The TAIP protocol is an easy-to-use ASCII protocol designed specifically for track and trace applications. The bi-directional NMEA 0183 v3.0 protocol offers industry standard data messages and a command set for easy interface to mapping software.

The Copernicus Starter Kit provides everything a designer needs to begin adding state-of-the-art GPS capability into their application. The kit includes the reference interface board, which provides a visual layout of the Copernicus module on a PCB including the RF signal trace and RF connector, as well as the I/O and power connections of the 28 signal pins. Also included are a power converter, power adapter, GPS antennas, and the software to readily
check out how easy it is to add Copernicus GPS to the application. The Copernicus GPS receiver is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2006 through Trimble's Component Technologies dealer network.

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Posted by Scott Martin at March 2, 2006 6:33 AM

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