Vehicle navigation systems have become essential for driving comfort and require a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) to be able to accurately display complex routes and junctions. A number of positioning systems are already in use, including the United States’ GPS and, in recent years, the Russian GLONASS and Chinese BDS. Europe, too, is readying for deployment of its Galileo system.
Because the positioning accuracy of satellite positioning systems can be improved by receiving signals from a large number of satellites, there is demand for modules that support multiple positioning systems. Some countries are even considering mandatory customs duties on products that are not compatible with their own positioning systems. Consequently, there is a growing requirement that product components also support multiple positioning systems.
Recognizing this need and conditions in the market, ALPS Electric has developed the UMSZ2 Series Multi GNSS Module for Automotive Use, which can receive signals from multiple GNSS. The UMSZ2 Series even allows simultaneous reception of signals from multiple positioning systems with the single unit. It is a surface-mount module with dimensions of 25mm × 20mm × 2.6mm. Also equipped with an internal antenna status detection circuit, as required for GNSS signal reception, the module helps to reduce the customer’s workload in designing and installing such circuits.
ALPS Electric harnessed RF circuit and software design technologies built up over the years to optimize the UMSZ2 Series’ circuitry and create a single-package multi GNSS module. The time taken to acquire a position fix after turning on the system was also shortened, realizing the industry’s fastest TTFF. Furthermore, the UMSZ2 Series can operate off a single 3.3V power supply despite simultaneously receiving signals from multiple GNSS. Eliminating the need for a multiple power supply contributes to greater freedom in system design. A dead reckoning function for updating position information inside tunnels or in other areas where a signal is unavailable will also be added as an option, says the company.