NEC tests cheap GPS PC Card

News from Russia

Our friends over at Computerra, who perpetrated the April Fool joke about Linus Torvalds joining Elbrus, have entered into collaboration with The Register and will send us local stories of wider interest to the industry. Here's the first. NEC has begun OEM testing a GPS-receiver using Russian company Spirit's technology. The software and hardware components of the receiver were developed by Spirit at its Moscow research centre. The system, which uses GPS, will become available first as a PC Card. The receiver consists of a radiofrequency block with an antenna 157,542MHz, eight-channel correlator (able to read eight signals simultaneously) and a processor intended for a measurement and data processing, and also monitoring and management of the receiver. Patented Spirit technology allows thousand of logic gates on the channel, while the normal receivers use only tens of thousands. In the GPS-receiver the fast bit synchronization allows reception of satellite signals from one up to 40 milliseconds. According to a survey by GPS World, in the last few years, volume of GPS systems is doubling every two years. By next year, the market will be worth around $20 billion. But systems for notebook PCs are only now beginning to arrive. According to Spirit, its system beats Trimble's FlightMate Pro on both price and performance. When it is released in around a year's time, the card will cost less than $100. ® The full story, in Russian, can be found here.

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