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

Lyn 1.5.11 - Lightweight image browser a...
Lyn is a lightweight and fast image browser and viewer designed for photographers, graphic artists and Web designers. Featuring an extremely versatile and aesthetically pleasing interface, it... Read more
NeoOffice 2014.11 - Mac-tailored, OpenOf...
NeoOffice is a complete office suite for OS X. With NeoOffice, users can view, edit, and save OpenOffice documents, PDF files, and most Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. NeoOffice 3.x... Read more
LaunchBar 6.4 - Powerful file/URL/email...
LaunchBar is an award-winning productivity utility that offers an amazingly intuitive and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the Web. It provides... Read more
Remotix 3.1.4 - Access all your computer...
Remotix is a fast and powerful application to easily access multiple Macs (and PCs) from your own Mac. Features Complete Apple Screen Sharing support - including Mac OS X login, clipboard... Read more
DesktopLyrics 2.6.6 - Displays current i...
DesktopLyrics is an application that displays the lyrics of the song currently playing in "iTunes" right on your desktop. The lyrics for the song have to be set in iTunes; DesktopLyrics does nothing... Read more
VOX 2.5.1 - Music player that supports m...
VOX is a beautiful music player that supports many filetypes. The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all... Read more
NetNewsWire 4.0.0 - RSS and Atom news re...
NetNewsWire is the best way to keep up with the sites and authors you read most regularly. Let NetNewsWire pull down the latest articles, and read them in a distraction-free and Mac-like way. Native... Read more
MacUpdate Desktop 6.0.6 - Search and ins...
MacUpdate Desktop 6 brings seamless 1-click installs and version updates to your Mac. With a free MacUpdate account and MacUpdate Desktop 6, Mac users can now install almost any Mac app on macupdate.... Read more
ForkLift 2.6.5 - Powerful file manager:...
ForkLift is a powerful file manager and ferociously fast FTP client clothed in a clean and versatile UI that offers the combination of absolute simplicity and raw power expected from a well-executed... Read more
Drive Genius 4.1.0 - Powerful system uti...
Drive Genius 4 gives you faster performance from your Mac while also protecting it. The award-winning and improved DrivePulse feature alerts you to hard drive issues before they become major problems... Read more

Biz Builder Delux (Games)
Biz Builder Delux 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Ah, there's nothing like the rhythmic bustle of a burgeoning business burg... especially when you're the one building it... | Read more »
Auroch Digital is Bringing Back Games Wo...
| Read more »
Carbo - Handwriting in the Digital Age...
Carbo - Handwriting in the Digital Age 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Productivity Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Draggy Dead (Games)
Draggy Dead 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Ditch your dead end job and take up a rewarding career in Grave Robbing today!Guide the recently deceased to a fun filled life of... | Read more »
Bad Dinos (Games)
Bad Dinos 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
The Apple Watch isn't Great as a Fi...
| Read more »
Show the World What You See With Stre.am...
Live broadcasting is getting popular on mobile devices, which is why you can now get Stre.am, by Infinite Takes. [Read more] | Read more »
PhotoTime's 2.1 Update Adds Apple W...
The latest PhotoTime update is adding even more functionality to the handy photo organizing app. Yep, including Apple Watch support. [Read more] | Read more »
Oh My Glob! Adventure Time Puzzle Quest...
Finn and Jake are taking over D3 Go!'s popular puzzle game series in the upcoming Adventure Time Puzzle Quest. [Read more] | Read more »
Earthcore: Shattered Elements - Tips, Tr...
At first glance, Earthcore: Shattered Elements seems like a rather simple card-battling game. Once you’re introduced to skills that will change quite a bit. Even more so once you start to acquire hero cards. But it’s not so complicated that we... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

OtterBox Maximizes Portability, Productivity...
From the kitchen recipe book to the boarsroom presentation, the OtterBox Agility Tablet System turns tablets into one of the most versatile pieces of handheld technology available. Available now, the... Read more
Launch of New Car App Gallery and Open Develo...
Automatic, a company on a mission to bring the power of the Internet into every car, has announced the launch of the Automatic App Gallery, an app store for nearly every car or truck on the road... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sale: 13-inch 1.6GHz Mac...
Best Buy has the new 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $849 on their online store this weekend. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale price for online orders... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sale: 27-inch 3.5GHz 5K...
Best Buy has the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $2099.99 this weekend. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale price for online orders only, in-store prices may vary.... Read more
Sale! 16GB iPad mini 3 for $349, save $50
B&H Photo has the 16GB iPad mini 3 WiFi on sale for $349 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
Price drop on 2014 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros by $200. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799.99 save $200 - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
With a Mission to Make Mobile Free, Scratch W...
Scratch Wireless, claiming to be the world’s first truly free mobile service, has announced the availability of a new Scratch-enabled Android smartphone, the Coolpad Arise. The smartphone is equipped... Read more
First-Ever Titanium Alloy Curved iPhone 6 Scr...
One of the most common problems with mobile phones is damage to the screens. The slightest drop can cause a dreaded spider web of gashes and cracks in the glass panel surface that can cost $hundreds... Read more
Preorder new 12-inch MacBook, $10 off, save o...
Adorama has new 12″ Retina MacBooks available for preorder for $10 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. For a limited time, Adorama will include a free Apple USB-C to USB... Read more
Will iOS 9 Finally Bring Productivity Friendl...
Ah, the irony. From its original announcement in 2010, Apple has doggedly insisted that the iPad remain “simple,” thus arbitrarily limiting its considerable potential as a content creation and... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
Business Development Manager - *Apple* Pay...
**Job Summary** Apple Pay is seeking an experienced Business Development professional to join the Apple Pay team to develop partnerships and strategic alliances with Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Retail New Store O...
**Job Summary** An Apple Retail New Store Openings & Remodels Project Manager is responsible for successfully managing the openings, remodels, and small works of Read more
SW QA Engineer - *Apple* TV - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** The Apple TV team is looking for experienced Quality Assurance Engineers with a passion for delivering first in class home entertainment solutions. **Key Read more
Partner Marketing Manager - *Apple* Pay - A...
**Job Summary** The Apple Pay partner marketing team is looking for a marketing manager to develop and drive US marketing programs with our financial institution Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.