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Antenova modules add location capability to small devices

Steve Rogerson
January 5, 2016
Antenova has come up with a neat way to add a location capability to very small consumer devices. The UK manufacturer of antennas and RF antenna modules for M2M and the IoT has released two modules for GPS and GNSS that can act as drop-in receivers.
The two modules are similar, both measuring 9.0 by 9.0 by 1.8mm, with low current consumption, making them suitable for smaller portable devices, such as smart watches, navigation devices, OBD II modules, asset tracking, personal safety, sports cameras and equipment. They are based on the MediaTek processor.
There are two part numbers. The M10578-A2 module operates with GPS, with a 1-5Hz update rate, and the M10578-A3 operates with GPS, Glonass, Beidou and Gallileo with an update rate of 1-10Hz.
The company has added two features to enhance performance. There is an internal self-generated orbit prediction that uses two GNSS systems simultaneously to give a faster time to fix, and a second high quality LNA (low noise amplifier) to boost low powered satellite signals.
The modules are the latest in the company’s RadioNova series of fully optimised RF modules for wireless M2M and embedded devices. They are pin compatible, offering easy integration and upgrade from GPS to GNSS, and, for the antenna function, Antenova offers the small Sinica SR4G008 GNSS antenna.
The modules are built on high-grade FR4 substrates with a high density, multi-layered design that is said to place the critical RF functions in the best position for location finding and performance.