IMC Newsdesk

Nestwave and Synopsys integrate GNSS in IoT modems

  • September 16, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson


Arc IoT communications IP subsystem block diagram

California-based Synopsys is working with French firm Nestwave a build a complete low-power GNSS system for integration into IoT modems.

This combines Nestwave’s soft-core GPS navigation IP with the Synopsys DesignWare Arc IoT communications IP subsystem to provide designers with power-efficient, high-accuracy GPS for battery-operated devices without the additional cost of a dedicated GNSS chip.

“Today’s advanced navigation systems are facing unique challenges when being implemented in power-constrained IoT devices,” said Ambroise Popper, CEO at Nestwave. “By combining Nestwave’s low power geolocation software with Synopsys’ efficient Arc IoT communications IP subsystem, we can deliver geolocation that offers greater accuracy, lower power consumption and lower cost compared to existing GNSS solutions.”

The Arc subsystem integrates hardware and software and combines Synopsys’ DSP-enhanced Arc EM9D processor, hardware accelerators, dedicated peripherals and RF interface to deliver DSP performance for low-bandwidth IoT applications. Nestwave’s GNSS takes advantage of the EM9D processor’s DSP capabilities and ability to add dedicated hardware accelerators or custom instructions using Apex technology to reduce frequency requirements, giving additional performance bandwidth.

The EM9D processor is supported by the MetaWare toolkit, which includes a library of DSP functions, allowing software engineers to implement algorithms rapidly from standard DSP building blocks.

Nestwave has developed low-power GNSS for use in IoT applications. When integrated with an IoT modem such as NB-IoT, Cat-M1, LoRa or Sigfox, it offers low-cost geolocation for emerging applications such as asset tracking, smart factories and smart cities, without the need for an external GNSS chip.

“Emerging IoT applications are demanding geolocation functionality with high-accuracy and ultra-low power consumption,” said John Koeter, senior vice president at Synopsys. “The combination of Synopsys’ Arc IoT communications IP subsystem with Nestwave’s GNSS technology will help designers significantly improve geolocation performance, reduce frequency requirements and lower overall power consumption for battery-powered IoT applications.”

Nestwave, based in Paris, provides geolocation products to IoT and GNSS chip makers. Its patented technology integrates into IoT modems and DSP devices, eliminating the need for a dedicated positioning chipset.

Synopsys provides silicon-proven IP for SoC designs. The DesignWare IP portfolio includes logic libraries, embedded memories, embedded test, analogue IP, wired and wireless interface IP, security IP, embedded processors and subsystems. To accelerate prototyping, software development and integration of IP into SoCs, the firm’s IP Accelerated initiative offers IP prototyping kits, IP software development kits and IP subsystems.