Antenova reduces power fivefold for GNSS module

  • July 7, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

UK antenna maker Antenova is launching a GNSS receiver module, with power consumption reduced fivefold to enable smaller tracker designs, and trackers that run for five times longer.

The GNSS Nova M20071 module is for small tracking devices that operate from Li-ion batteries, where a lower power requirement is an advantage. These are typically small mobile trackers, pet trackers, personal fitness devices, and location trackers for bikes and e-scooters.

The module tracks the GPS, Galileo, Glonass and Beidou constellations simultaneously to improve position accuracy particularly in urban environments. Based on a chip from Mediatek, it draws 17mW when receiving GPS only, and 21mW receiving all constellations.

The unit measures 9.0 by 9.0 by 1.8mm. Pairing this with one of Antenova’s SMD antennas makes a compact RF option and a way to realise slimmed down tracker designs. Antenova offers several GNSS antennas to enable a compact RF product to be designed, in particular the low-profile Sinica chip antenna and the Bentoni FPC antenna.

Michael Castle, product marketing manager at Antenova, said: “Designers using M20071 and our low-profile GNSS antennas can specify much smaller designs than with the usual patch antennas.”

Standard GNSS modules typically draw 90 to 100mW of power, so the reduction in power consumption to 17mW gives a significant increase in operational time, over 500%. Designers can either build a product to run five times longer, or specify a smaller battery to save space in the design.

The module contains an integrated SAW filter and low noise amplifier, TCXO and RTC to improve performance and speed up first position fix.

It uses Easy (Embedded Assist SYstem), which speeds up TTFF (time to first fix). It generates synthetic ephemeris data rather than downloading them from the satellite, thus reducing power consumption. The warm start time using Easy is around 2s compared with 25s without Easy.

For applications that wake up periodically to get a position, Easy further reduces total power consumption, so a smaller battery can be specified. It also includes EPO which is assisted-GNSS. EPO receives assistance data from a web site to speed up the TTFF.

Antenova is a developer and supplier of integrated antennas and RF devices for wireless communication, consumer electronic and wireless M2M devices. Its range of standard antennas and RF modules are suitable for GSM, CDMA, 3G, 4G, LTE, 5G-NR, 5G, NB-IoT, GPS, GNSS, wifi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, LP-WAN, LoRa, Sigfox and ISM, for M2M and IoT applications.

The company also provides design advice and technical support, including custom antenna design, engineering, integration and test services.