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Integrated Dual-Frequency Two-Antenna Module

A joint cooperation between ACORDE and FRACTUS demonstrates the possibility of miniaturized multiband GNSS functionality for next generation GNSS receivers for handsets.

ACORDE TECHNOLOGIES S.A. and FRACTUS have carried out a joint cooperation in the frame of the EU FP7 GRAMMAR project (Galileo Ready Advanced Mass Market Receiver: http://www.gsa-grammar.eu) to evaluate the possibilities of integrating multiple GNSS receivers and antennas within a handset terminal (i.e. mobile phone or PDA). The obtained results demonstrate the potential for integrating multi-frequency GNSS receivers in reduced form factors by exploiting the custom GNSS multi-band front-end receiver ASIC currently under development at ACORDE and FRACTUS antenna technology. The GRAMMAR project represents a highly innovative approach to develop a GNSS receiver prototype, targeted at mass market applications, with the widest potential exploitation. Specifically, GRAMMAR is addressing the following gaps identified as obstacles for producing high-quality advanced mass market GNSS receivers: • No economic solutions for accurate dual-frequency RF and baseband hardware • No existing GPS/GALILEO receiver solutions • Poor robustness and location availability in indoor and urban environments One of the main goals of GRAMMAR’s technical work is the development of a hardware prototype for an advanced mass market receiver using a custom single chip dual-frequency front-end receiver supported by an FPGA based baseband. The solution will allow a rapid prototyping of advanced algorithms and techniques. The reference design requires specially designed antennas to match with the newly available GPS and Galileo bands, namely E1 at 1575MHz and L5-E5a at 1176MHz, and to allow the testing in real environment. The use of fractal GeofindTM slim chip antenna technology enables an easy to integrate solution, offering reduced antenna size and a high level of performance in terms of gain and efficiency. “It has been demonstrated that it is possible to use the antenna at the L5-E5a band with very good results (more than 75% efficiency and 1.8dBi gain in 30MHz bandwidth even with minimum clearance)”. Additionally, the performance of an integrated dual-frequency two-antenna module, for use within a mobile device as envisaged by ACORDE’s advanced front-end ASIC shows outstanding performance. These results allow us to state that this dual frequency GNSS receiver prototype, integrating ACORDE’s dual frequency front-end receiver ASIC and FRACTUS’s dual port antenna design, can be tested in the operational conditions representative of a portable device within a size of approximately 10mm x 30mm. This solution will pave the way for low-power compact multi-band GNSS receivers, suitable for portable devices requiring high performance and robustness against interference from cellular and legacy services. First version of the complete GRAMMAR GNSS Front End receiver is planned to be ready by the end of the second quarter of 2010.

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Germany, Spain, Finland