Apple working on satellite navigation system for portable devices
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apple working on satellite navigation system for portable devices

As evidenced by a new patent (number 8054221) at the US Patent & Trademark Office that shows Apple is working on satellite navigation system for portable devices.

Per the patent, a portable user device may provide Global Positioning System (GPS) services. The device may include a GPS receiver. The GPS receiver may provide accurate information about the current location of the device. A user may use the device to perform tasks. Certain tasks may generate excess heat or de-generate heat that causes the GPS receiver to perform unsatisfactorily. Methods are provided that can test GPS receiver performance during acquisition mode and during tracking mode.

During testing, the GPS receiver may be given a predetermined amount of time to acquire a GPS fix. The GPS receiver may be tested repeatedly to acquire successive GPS fixes. After a desired number of tests are performed, a success rate may be calculated. If the success rate is satisfactory, the GPS receiver satisfies design criteria. If the success rate is not satisfactory, the GPS receiver may be reconfigured with new settings.. The inventors are Anh Luong and Daniel Kong.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "Electronic devices use satellite navigation systems to support navigation functions. For example, an electronic device may use a satellite navigation system such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) to obtain position information, timing information, and other navigation information. The Global Positioning System includes satellites that orbit the Earth, Earth-based control and monitoring stations, and GPS receivers that are located within the electronic devices. GPS services may be provided on a continuous basis anywhere that is within range of the orbiting satellites.

"A portable electronic device may include a GPS receiver. The GPS receiver may sometimes be referred to as a GPS unit. The GPS unit determines the current position (location) of the portable electronic device. During operation, the GPS unit may receive data streams from GPS satellites orbiting the Earth. Using a local clock, the GPS unit analyzes each data stream to make a transit time and distance estimation.

"A method known as geometric trilateration may be used to determine the location of the GPS unit by analyzing the estimated distances of each of the satellites to the GPS unit. The accuracy of location measurements made using the GPS unit depends on accuracy of the local clock. The local clock is typically implemented using a crystal oscillator. If the output of the oscillator exhibits errors, the GPS receiver may not function as expected.

"Some GPS units are housed in dedicated handheld devices. Other GPS units are used in more complex devices such as cellular telephones. Devices such as these may have components whose operations can adversely affect GPS performance.

"As an example, a cellular telephone may include cellular telephone transceiver circuitry that is used to make telephone calls. The cellular telephone transceiver circuitry includes power amplifier circuitry that transmits radio-frequency (RF) signals to a nearby base station. If care is not taken, a rapid change in heat generated from the power amplifier circuitry may adversely affect the accuracy of the oscillator in the GPS unit, thereby resulting in degraded GPS performance. Acquiring a GPS location measurement when making a phone call may therefore be unacceptably slow.

"Conventional arrangements for testing GPS receiver performance involve measuring the performance of the GPS unit while the power amplifier circuitry is placed in an active mode that constantly transmits radio-frequency signals. The performance of the GPS unit, however, may be most adversely affected when the thermal transient (i.e., the instantaneous change in heat generated by the cellular telephone transceiver circuitry) is maximized.

"Testing GPS performance using the conventional approach is not a rigorous test of GPS performance, because leaving the power amplifier circuitry in the active mode does not maximize thermal transient. It would therefore be desirable to be able to provide ways of testing GPS receiver performance.

"An electronic device such as a portable user device may provide satellite navigation system services such as Global Positioning System (GPS) services. The user device may include a satellite navigation receiver such as a GPS receiver, storage and processing circuitry, cellular telephone transceiver circuitry (cellular radio), etc. The GPS receiver may provide information such as a current location of the user device.

"In addition to providing the GPS services, the user device may be used perform various tasks. For example, the user device may be used to make telephone calls, browse the Internet, run gaming applications, take pictures, etc. Performing these tasks may produce thermal transient that momentarily raises the temperature of the GPS receiver.

"If the GPS receiver suffers from rapid changes in temperature (e.g., if a high temperature gradient is produced on a printed circuit board on which GPS circuitry is mounted), the GPS receiver may not function properly. It may be desirable to test GPS receiver performance in the presence of such thermal transient (i.e., heat-inducing) activities.

"A test system in which a device under test (DUT) is tested may include test equipment such as a base station emulator and a test host. The base station emulator and the DUT may be coupled to the test host during testing.

"The DUT may be operable in an acquisition mode or a tracking mode. During acquisition mode testing, the GPS receiver may be given a time to fix (TTF) to acquire a GPS fix (lock) during activating or deactivating a heat-inducing activity (e.g., in response to turning on or turning off power amplifier circuitry at a specific duty cycle). GPS data may be cleared from the DUT before attempting another GPS acquisition. After a desired number of tests have been performed, an acquisition success rate may be calculated.

"If the acquisition success rate satisfies a predetermined threshold, the GPS receiver satisfies performance criteria, and the DUT is marked as a passing DUT. If the acquisition success rate is less than the predetermined threshold, the DUT is marked as a failing DUT. The GPS receiver may be reconfigured with new settings aimed to improve GPS performance (e.g., to increase the distance between the GPS receiver and the cellular radio, or provide better ground plane to dissipate heat, or adding thermal pad).

"During tracking mode testing, the GPS receiver may be given time-to-fix (TTF), and the GPS receiver may be in hot start. The GPS receiver may initially be given a sufficient amount of time to acquire fixes to update its ephemeris without any thermal effect activities. Subsequently, the GPS receiver may continue to acquire a GPS fix during activating or deactivating a thermal effect activity.

"GPS data need not be cleared from the DUT before attempting another GPS fix. After a desired number of tests have been performed, a tracking success rate may be calculated. If the tracking success rate is greater than a predetermined threshold, the GPS receiver satisfies performance criteria. If the tracking success rate is less than the predetermined threshold, the GPS receiver may be reconfigured with new settings."

-- Dennis Sellers

 
AAPL
$98.38
Apple Inc.
-0.64
MSFT
$43.89
Microsoft Corpora
-0.09
GOOG
$585.61
Google Inc.
-4.99

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Drive Genius 3.2.4 - Powerful system uti...
Drive Genius is an OS X utility designed to provide unsurpassed storage management. Featuring an easy-to-use interface, Drive Genius is packed with powerful tools such as a drive optimizer, a... Read more
Vitamin-R 2.15 - Personal productivity t...
Vitamin-R creates the optimal conditions for your brain to work at its best by structuring your work into short bursts of distraction-free, highly focused activity alternating with opportunities for... Read more
Toast Titanium 12.0 - The ultimate media...
Toast Titanium goes way beyond the very basic burning in the Mac OS and iLife software, and sets the standard for burning CDs, DVDs, and now Blu-ray discs on the Mac. Create superior sounding audio... Read more
OS X Yosemite Wallpaper 1.0 - Desktop im...
OS X Yosemite Wallpaper is the gorgeous new background image for Apple's upcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite. This wallpaper is available for all screen resolutions with a source file that measures 5,418... Read more
Acorn 4.4 - Bitmap image editor. (Demo)
Acorn is a new image editor built with one goal in mind - simplicity. Fast, easy, and fluid, Acorn provides the options you'll need without any overhead. Acorn feels right, and won't drain your bank... Read more
Bartender 1.2.20 - Organize your menu ba...
Bartender lets you organize your menu bar apps. Features: Lets you tidy your menu bar apps how you want. See your menu bar apps when you want. Hide the apps you need to run, but do not need to... Read more
TotalFinder 1.6.2 - Adds tabs, hotkeys,...
TotalFinder is a universally acclaimed navigational companion for your Mac. Enhance your Mac's Finder with features so smart and convenient, you won't believe you ever lived without them. Tab-based... Read more
Vienna 3.0.0 RC 2 :be5265e: - RSS and At...
Vienna is a freeware and Open-Source RSS/Atom newsreader with article storage and management via a SQLite database, written in Objective-C and Cocoa, for the OS X operating system. It provides... Read more
VLC Media Player 2.1.5 - Popular multime...
VLC Media Player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, MP3, OGG, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It... Read more
Default Folder X 4.6.7 - Enhances Open a...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Note Review
Note Review By Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: TOO SIMPLEiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Note is a note taking app that’s a little too short on features to be worth its asking price... | Read more »
Chainsaw Warrior Goes on Sale & Ther...
Chainsaw Warrior Goes on Sale & There’s a Chance to Win a Copy of the Original Board Game Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014 [ permalink | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Tiny Tower Vegas
If you go to a casino, you might make a lot of money. If you run a casino, you’re guaranteed to make a lot of money. The choice seems pretty obvious. So while waiting for your shady real estate deals to move forward, get prepared with Tiny Tower... | Read more »
Z Hunter Review
Z Hunter Review By Lee Hamlet on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: RIGHT ON TARGETUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad While it might not necessarily break new ground, Z Hunter has enough tricks up its sleeve to ensure that... | Read more »
Huge Update Comes To Duet, Adding 48 New...
Huge Update Comes To Duet, Adding 48 New Stages Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Sharknado: The Video Game Available Now....
Sharknado: The Video Game Available Now. Seriously. Posted by Rob Rich on July 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Frog Orbs 2 Review
Frog Orbs 2 Review By Nadia Oxford on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: THIS MAGIC IS A TAD MONOTONOUS Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Frog Orbs 2 is repetitive, but younger players should enjoy it nonetheless.   | Read more »
Puzzix Review
Puzzix Review By Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NICE IDEAUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A little like Tetris, Puzzix is all about piecing together blocks and watching them vanish. It could do with... | Read more »
Cannonball eMail is Now Live – Works Wit...
Cannonball eMail is Now Live – Works With Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Hotmail, and AOL Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
To The End Review
To The End Review By Lee Hamlet on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: A VICIOUS CYCLEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad To The End will test players’ patience, timing, and dedication as they try to navigate all 13 levels in... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple Updates MacBook Pro with Retina Display...
Apple today updated its MacBook Pro with Retina display with faster processors and double the amount of memory in both entry-level configurations. MacBook Pro with Retina display features a Retina... Read more
Up to $250 price drop on leftover 15-inch Mac...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on 2013 15″ Retina MacBook Pros by as much as $250 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.3GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $2349... Read more
Updated MacBook Pro Price Trackers
We’ve updated our MacBook Pro Price Trackers with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability on the new 2014 models from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers as well as... Read more
Apple updates MacBook Pros with slightly fast...
Apple updated 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros today with slightly faster Haswell processors. 13″ models now ship with 8GB of RAM standard, while 15″ MacBook Pros ship with 16GB across the board. Most... Read more
Apple drops price on 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro b...
The Apple Store has dropped their price for the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro by $100 to $1099 including free shipping. Read more
Apple drops prices on refurbished 2013 MacBoo...
The Apple Store has dropped prices on Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ 2013 MacBook Pros, with model now available starting at $929. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free... Read more
iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 To Support DuckDuckGo As...
Writing for Quartz, Dan Frommer reports that Apple’s forthcoming iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 operating systems version updates will allow users to select DuckDuckGo as their default search engine. He notes... Read more
U.K. Hospital Using iPods and iPads To Record...
British news journal GazetteLive’s. Ian McNeal notes that the old “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” proverb is being turned on its head at http://southtees.nhs.uk/hospitals/james-cook/ James... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $1099,...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $1099.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $100 off MSRP. Price is... Read more
Roundup of Apple refurbished MacBook Pros, th...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros available for up to $400 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. Their prices... Read more

Jobs Board

Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Sr. Product Leader, *Apple* Store Apps - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.