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Trimble’s FirstGPS Technology is Now in Low Power, Miniature Module

Trimble today launched its M-LocTM MPMTM module, a tiny measurement platform module using the Company’s innovative FirstGPSTM technology that allows OEMs to easily integrate Global Positioning System (GPS) location in mobile products for less power, less space and lower cost than previously possible.

The announcement was made today at the 2001 Embedded Systems Conference.

The M-Loc MPM’s FirstGPSTM technology allows high-volume manufacturers to add GPS location to mobile devices such as cell phones, pagers, PDAs, laptops, smart phones, digital cameras and car navigation systems, with minimal impact on the device’s size or battery life. Requiring less integration time than a basic chipset, the module also allows customers to get products to market faster – and with less initial risk and expense.

“With the M-Loc MPM module, Trimble today bridges the economic and design gap between the chipset and traditional GPS board solutions for the growing mobile market worldwide,” said Joel Avey, director of marketing for Trimble’s Component Technologies Division. “M-Loc is not just another GPS receiver: M-Loc MPM incorporates Trimble’s unique host-based architecture which leverages the mobile device’s CPU and memory to calculate position, velocity and time to significantly lower component count and product cost.”

The M-Loc MPM’s FirstGPS technology offers the lowest power consumption of any GPS receiver on the market today. Requiring only 1/3 the power of most receivers (43 milliwatts at 3.3 volts when updating positions every second), the M-Loc MPM module is ideal for power-sensitive applications. For devices that only need location-on-demand, several sleep and low-power modes allow for further power savings and longer battery life.

The M-Loc MPM’s FirstGPS technology is the only host-based architecture on the market today that allows flexible integration of GPS with other real-time software tasks. Without burdening the other applications running on the mobile device, FirstGPS leverages the host microprocessor (CPU) and memory to calculate the GPS position, velocity and time (PVT) solutions. This innovative technology, which is microprocessor and real-time operating system (RTOS) independent, eliminates redundant CPUs and memory thereby reducing overall component count and product cost.

The FirstGPS technology continues Trimble’s tradition of superior and reliable performance in urban canyons and other weak-signal environments. While FirstGPS is designed for autonomous operation, this flexible technology can also take advantage of server-based techniques for faster signal acquisition, higher position accuracy and enhanced sensitivity.

The M-Loc MPM is extremely compact. Its high level of integration and low component count enables a footprint as small as one square inch (25mm x 25mm). This small footprint facilitates the integration of GPS functionality into a variety of mobile devices without adversely affecting product form factor and size. Additionally, the board is enclosed in an RF shield, eliminating the need for designing shielding into products.

The M-Loc MPM module is expected to be available in July of 2001 through Trimble’s Component Technologies distribution channels.

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