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

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

VueScan 9.5.75 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Opera 44.0.2510.1449 - High-performance...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Opera 44.0.2510.1449 - High-performance...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Skim 1.4.29 - PDF reader and note-taker...
Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Skim includes many features and has a... Read more
FontExplorer X Pro 6.0.2 - Font manageme...
FontExplorer X Pro is optimized for professional use; it's the solution that gives you the power you need to manage all your fonts. Now you can more easily manage, activate and organize your... Read more
1Password 6.7.1 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
Vivaldi 1.9.818.44 - An advanced browser...
Vivaldi is a browser for our friends. In 1994, two programmers started working on a web browser. Our idea was to make a really fast browser, capable of running on limited hardware, keeping in mind... Read more
Vivaldi 1.9.818.44 - An advanced browser...
Vivaldi is a browser for our friends. In 1994, two programmers started working on a web browser. Our idea was to make a really fast browser, capable of running on limited hardware, keeping in mind... Read more
Skim 1.4.29 - PDF reader and note-taker...
Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Skim includes many features and has a... Read more
1Password 6.7.1 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Fire Emblem Heroes event announces new m...
As reported yesterday, Nintendo was gearing up a live press event for their popular mobile game,Fire Emblem Heroes. While the stream revealed a lot of new things, the event was entirely in Japanese. Luckily we have a rundown of what was announced... | Read more »
Best games we played this week
Another week, another slate of new mobile games. Although there weren't as many big name releases as last week, there were plenty of unique video game titles that came out that's sure to keep you interested over the weekend. Everything from classic... | Read more »
Olli by Tinrocket (Photography)
Olli by Tinrocket 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Get drawn in with Olli by TinrocketOlli instantly turns your everyday moments into hand-drawn art and animations. • Watch... | Read more »
Penarium (Games)
Penarium 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Fire Emblem Heroes is way more profitabl...
Profits for Nintendo's mobile game Fire Emblem Heroes are apparently impressive enough to beat out other Nintendo titles likeSuper Mario Run, despite having 10 times fewer downloads. [Read more] | Read more »
Classic series Robot Unicorn Attack 3 no...
The classic Adult Swim browser game, Robot Unicorn Attack, branched off into a series of popular mobile games. Now, the latest entry into the series, Robot Unicorn Attack 3, is available for iOS and Android mobile devices. [Read more] | Read more »
Sudoku Sweeper (Games)
Sudoku Sweeper 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A minimalist mashup of Minesweeper and Sudoku. Logic puzzle perfection. Every row, column and zone contains a bomb and one of... | Read more »
Under Leaves (Games)
Under Leaves 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Journey into the forest, the jungle or the depths of the deep blue sea. Find chestnuts for the pigs, a caterpillar for the... | Read more »
Ninja Pizza Girl (Games)
Ninja Pizza Girl 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: In the not-so-distant future, rampart traffic congestion has resulted in only one way to deliver pizzas across town in thirty... | Read more »
SCRAP (Games)
SCRAP 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: That day, for no apparent reason, SCRAP decided to wake up and run. He had to, because his activation was a mistake the "Factory" could... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro, Apple refu...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pros available for $200 off MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB... Read more
13-inch Gray 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar MacBook P...
Amazon has the 13″ Space Gray 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro (model MNQF2LL/A) in stock today and on sale for $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray... Read more
15-inch 2.7GHz Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook P...
B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.7GHz Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook Pro in stock today and on sale for $2599…$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
13-inch 2.9GHz/256GB Space Gray Touch Bar Mac...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz/256GB Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook Pro in stock today and on sale for $150 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/256GB Touch... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $151 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $151 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 3.1GHz iMac 4K: $1348 $151 off MSRP - 21″ 2.8GHz iMac: $1199.99 $100 off MSRP... Read more
Weekend deal: Up to $420 off new MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros available for $230 to $420 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2.6GHz... Read more
Price drop: 15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro...
Amazon has dropped their price on 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros (MJLQ2LL/A) to $1709.99 including free shipping. Their price is $290 off MSRP for this model. Note that stock may sell out quickly at... Read more
2.8GHz Mac mini on sale for $899, save $100
B&H Photo has the 2.8GHz Mac mini (model number MGEQ2LL/A) on sale for $899 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
New System Clock for macOS by B-Eng Now Avail...
Fehraltorf, Switzerland based B-Eng has announced the release and immediate availability of System Clock, the company’s new system monitor and information app developed exclusively for macOS. System... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Mac Computer Technician - GeekHampto...
…complex computer issues over the phone and in person? GeekHampton, Long Island's Apple Premium Service Provider, is looking for you! Come work with our crew Read more
Product Manager, *Apple* Platforms - Viacom...
…Product Manager to drive the execution of its iOS and AppleTV experiences. The Apple Platform Product Manager will be a leader in our Agile/Scrum environment and Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**493714BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 001024-Weatherford-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master Read more
*Apple* OS X Server Administrator (Active Se...
** Apple OS X Server Administrator \(Active Secret Clearance\)** **Description** Come be a part of a top notch team, apply today\!\! Tuva TUVA provides turnkey Read more
*Apple* Mac Computer Technician - GeekHampto...
…complex computer issues over the phone and in person? GeekHampton, Long Island's Apple Premium Service Provider, is looking for you! Come work with our crew Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.