Engadget picked up on a Google-translated page from Epson, highlighting their new joint venture with Infineon, the XPOSYS assisted-GPS chip, which is slated for mass production for consumer electronics this year.
OK, you say. What’s all this mean? Well, an assisted-GPS chip, or a-GPS chip, is the same kind of chip that’s in mobile devices like the iPhone. They typically use a combination of standard GPS satellite reception and cell phone tower triangulation to get a pretty-accurate location lock, even indoors. They’re what power the myriad of GPS Apps and programs for mobile phones, as well as new services like Google’s Latitude. Those technologies are still pretty new, but even in the last 6 months, they have exploded onto the market.
a-GPS is not without its drawbacks. They’re still mildly expensive, (relatively) bulky, and can be a pretty intense drain on battery life. The XPOSYS aims to tackle each of these issues — the components are inexpensive, more energy-efficient, and boy are they tiny. How tiny? How’s this?
At 2.8 by 2.9 mm, this chip is 25% smaller than the current reigning champ of petite a-GPS chips. Look for this chip in just about everything later on this year.