Broadcom Has Low-Power GPS Geofencing News and More at MWC2013

Broadcom made some big noise here at MWC with the launch of its 47521 GPS chip which is a  follow-on to the 4752 they announced at the show last year. This new silicon-software solution allows real-geofencing due to its reduced power consumption which the company said was cut by a factor of 60!  I say “real” – because currently geofencing drains battery so much, users have to turn it off.

While I naturally thought asset-tracking/M2M was the major market for the company, Donald Fuchs Director of Business Development for the Mobile and Wireless Group says this market is a “rounding error” compared to the size of the wireless space. His thoughts as well as those of Monika Gupta from Broadcom are that social networkingand mobile marketing are the main areas for such a technology. I believe they are right but in an “Internet of things” world, it will likely find itself embedded everywhere.

The company also announced the second generation 61630 residential WCDMA femtocell solution which includes an RF transceiver. The integration allows lower-cost products which reduce cost and reduce power consumption allowing carriers to act in line with European code of conduct power reduction goals. Solutions can be as small as a deck of cards and some equipment companies are integrating DSL modems into an integrated solution since the data has to be “backhauled anyway” as company representative Greg Fischer says.
Moreover there is GPS capability which helps when building 911 solutions and in countries like Japan where regulators specify radio base stations must have their locations registered.

The company’s new 61760 is small cell multi-mode 3G-LTE solution builds on the company’s 3G expertise and adds LTE and increases density.  Up to 32 users are supported using 3G which by the way includes dual-carrier support. Using LTE, 128 users are supported with a  full 20 MHZ channel. Both FDD and TDD multiplexing are further supported. This solution can further double 3G or 4G LTE capacity if the other radio technology is disabled meaning for example an LTE-only solution scales to 256 users with carrier aggregation as a bonus.
Chuck Tato Director of Product Marketing spent some time explaining the benefits of coupling chips like the 61670 with Broadcom’s XLP processor, allowing the company to provide solutions from the femtocell to the cloud-RAN supporting well over 200 users.


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