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Super-E technology by u-blox – low power & high performance for wearables

Courtesy of u-blox

Super‑E, developed by u-blox, is short for Super‑Efficient: Super-E is an intelligent power mode that reduces overall power consumption without impacting positioning performance. It uses only the minimal resources required for tracking and maintaining an accurate position, as opposed to the full‑power operation, which always tries to maximize positioning performance. https://www.u-blox.com/en/super-e-technology

Super-E technology

Courtesy of u-blox

Manufacturers of portable applications, such as smart wearable watches or trackers, have struggled to find the best balance between size and positioning performance in their products. The resulting products are not small enough and not accurate enough, which has led to a lower‑than‑expected adoption rate.


In response to this need, u‑blox developed the Super‑E positioning technology. Super‑E, short for Super‑Efficient, is an intelligent power mode that reduces overall power consumption without impacting positioning performance. It uses only the minimal resources required for tracking and maintaining an accurate position, as opposed to the full‑power operation, which always tries to maximize positioning performance.

Only when the signals are very weak or very few satellites are visible, is the full‑power scheme activated to maintain positioning performance.

In a real‑life sport watch scenario, Super‑E achieved three times the power saving, while maintaining position and speed accuracy comparable to the traditional u‑blox 1 Hz full power mode.

Super‑E mode is incorporated in a System in Package (SiP) solution that only occupies 20 mm2 and features a complete GNSS system, including TCXO, LNA, SAW filter and filtering elements for easy design‑in into any highly integrated product. Also available in a chip, the Super‑E mode combines low power consumption with high positioning accuracy in a design footprint of less than 30 mm2 (including all necessary components for a portable design).
Highlights:

 

Targeted applications

Sports  accessories, such as sport and smart watches:
These customers are in need of GNSS reception but with reduced power consumption.
Their solutions integrate many features (e.g. heart rate) within the same low power budget
while using small batteries to make the product smaller.
This is crucial to reach a broader market and audiences that prefer slimmer designs.

People and animal trackers:
When a device goes beyond the geofence, a location update every few minutes is not enough to accurately locate the tracker.
The operator must then keep the system on, which rapidly depletes the battery.
For emergency situations, it is important to have the longest battery life.

Fitness trackers:
With high penetration in the mass market in recent years, these devices are simple,
low cost and slim.
Fitness trackers need GNSS to accurately track workouts in real‑time.
However, they must stay at the same price point and still look slim to remain attractive.

Consumer tag trackers:
Consumer Bluetooth low energy tag devices use a function called “crowd finding GNSS” to locate
moving targets such as dogs and bikes.
This is highly inefficient as it requires other smartphone owners to have the required application
installed on their phone to find the lost asset when passing by. Adding GNSS (+connectivity)
as an “emergency” option for when the device is lost would give peace of mind to its owner.
It is very important that the device remains small (with a small battery) for its adoption and implementation in objects (e.g. keys, wallet, and bike).

Industrial trackers like vehicles:
More and more trackers work with a battery and have a limited power budget for GNSS,
as opposed to traditional vehicle tracking boxes that are connected to the vehicle battery.

Products

UBX-M8230-CT
Super low power u-blox M8 GNSS chip
ZOE-M8Q
Ultra small, super low power u-blox M8 GNSS SiP

Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT)

Courtesy of u-blox

Narrowband IoT (NB‑IoT) is a new way of communicating with “things” that require small amounts of data, over long periods, in hard to reach places.

What is Narrowband IoT?

Narrowband IoT (NB‑IoT), also known as LTE Cat NB1, is a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology that works virtually anywhere. It connects devices more simply and efficiently on already established mobile networks, and handles small amounts of fairly infrequent 2‑way data, securely and reliably. And the best is, it provides:

  • very low power consumption
  • excellent extended range in buildings and underground
  • easy deployment into existing cellular network architecture
  • network security & reliability
  • lower component cost

nb iot

NB‑IoT meets the challenges
We believe in a wireless future with secure, stable, and robust connectivity. Many potential “connected things” are located in remote or hard to reach areas, at long distances from the next cellular base station or in shielded areas, such as deep within buildings or underground structures. When there is  coverage,  it  is often  poor and requires  the  device  transmitter  to  operate  at  high  power, draining the battery. Additionally, cellular networks are not optimized for applications that only transmit small amounts of infrequent data. Further, the existing cellular standards don’t support power saving capabilities, which makes these standards unsuitable for inexpensive devices that require battery lives of several years.

NB‑IoT will connect many more devices to the Internet of Things and make many new applications a reality. It is optimized for applications that need to communicate small amounts of data over long periods of time. Since it operates in licensed spectrum, it is secure and reliable providing guaranteed quality of service.

Using other cellular air interfaces for a typical NB‑IoT application would be too expensive, as NB‑IoT applications don’t need all their capabilities. NB‑IoT applications focus on low speed, robust data transfer, and an appropriate level of reliability. A low device price also cuts the installation cost and reduces  the risk of theft.

u‑blox – An Early Leader in NB‑IoT Technology
u‑blox has worked with partners around the world to develop, promote and test NB‑IoT:

Future applications

NB‑IoT applications blog post

Smart metering

NB‑IoT is well suited for monitoring gas and water meters, via regular and small data transmissions. Network coverage is a key issue in smart metering rollouts. Meters have a very strong tendency to turn up in difficult locations, such as in cellars, deep underground or in remote rural areas. NB‑IoT has excellent coverage and penetration to address this issue.

Smart cities

NB‑IoT can help local government control street lighting, determine when waste bins need emptying, identify free parking spaces, monitor environmental conditions, and survey the condition of roads.

Smart buildings

NB‑IoT connected sensors can send alerts about building maintenance issues and perform automated tasks, such as light and heat control. NB‑IoT can also act as the backup for the building broadband connection. Some securitysolutions may even use LPWA networks to connect sensors directly to the monitoring system, as this configuration is more difficult for an intruder to disable as well as easier to install and maintain.

Consumers

NB‑IoT will provide wearable devices with their own long‑range connectivity, which is particularly beneficial for people and animal tracking. Similarly, NB‑IoT can also be used for health monitoring of those suffering from chronic or age‑related conditions.

Agricultural and environmental

NB‑IoT connectivity will offer farmers tracking possibilities, so that a sensor containing a u‑blox NB‑IoT module can send an alert if an animal’s movement is out of the ordinary. Such sensors could be used to monitor the temperature and humidity of soil, and in general to keep track of attributes of land, pollution, noise, rain, etc.

Related Blog posts:

Products

SARA
Power-optimized NB-IoT (LTE Cat NB1) modules

u-blox LTE Cat M1

Courtesy of u-blox

LTE Cat M1 is a new cellular technology, specifically designed for the needs of applications targeting the Internet of Things (IoT) or machine‑to‑machine (M2M) communications.

What is LTE Cat M1?

LTE Cat M1 is a low‑power wide‑area (LPWA) air interface that lets you connect IoT and M2M devices with medium data rate requirements (375 kb/s upload and download speeds in half duplex mode). It enables longer battery lifecycles and greater in‑building range, as compared to standard cellular technologies such as 2G, 3G or LTE Cat 1. Key features include:

  • Support of voice functionality via VoLTE
  • Full mobility and in‑vehicle hand‑over
  • Low power consumption
  • Extended in‑building range

lte catm1

Exceeding Expectations

LTE Cat M1 is part of the same 3GPP Release 13 standard that also defined Narrowband IoT (NB‑IoT or LTE Cat NB1)– both are LPWA technologies in the licensed spectrum. With uplink and downlink speeds of 375 kb/s in half duplex mode, Cat M1 specifically supports IoT applications with low to medium data rate needs. At these speeds, LTE Cat M1 can deliver remote firmware updates over‑the‑air (FOTA) within reasonable timeframes, making it well‑suited for critical applications running on devices that may be deployed in the field for extended periods of time.

Battery life of up to 10  years on a single charge in some use cases also contributes to lower maintenance costs for deployed devices, even in locations where end devices may not be connected directly to the power grid.

As compared to NB‑IoT, LTE Cat M1 is also ideal for mobile use cases, because it handles hand‑over between cell towers similarly to high speed LTE . For example, if a vehicle moved from point A to point B, crossing several different network cells, a Cat M1 device would behave the same as a cellular phone and never drop the connection. An NB‑IoT device on the contrary, would have to re‑establish a new connection at some point after a new network cell is reached.

Another benefit is the support of voice functionality via VoLTE (voice over LTE), which means it can be used for applications requiring a level of human interaction, such as for certain health and security applications (for example, stay‑in‑place solutions and alarm panels).

u‑blox – An Early Leader in Cat M1 Technology

u‑blox has worked with leading LTE Cat M1 operators to develop Cat M1 modules that meet their network needs.

  • Close collaboration with Verizon Wireless in preparation of their LTE Cat M1 US network launch with SARA‑R4, the world’s smallest LTE Cat M1 module
  • Support of early trials and development of specific product configurations ahead of other MNO Cat M1 network launches

Key applications

lte cat m1

Automotive & transportation

LTE Cat M1 supports full hand‑over between network cells from a moving vehicle and is therefore well‑suited for mobile use cases with low to medium data rate needs, such as vehicle tracking, asset tracking, telematics, fleet management and usage‑based insurance.

Smart metering

Cat M1 is also ideal for monitoring metering and utility applications via regular and small data transmissions. Network coverage is a key issue in smart metering rollouts. Since meters are commonly located inside buildings or basements, Cat M1’s extended range leads to better coverage in hard‑to‑reach areas.

Smart buildings

Cat M1 can easily provide basic building management functionality, such as HVAC, lighting and access control with its enhanced indoor range. Since it is also features voice functionality via VoLTE, it is also well‑suited for critical applications like security systems and alarm panels.

Connected health

Due to its extended in‑building range, voice support and mobility, Cat M1 is also a well‑matched air interface choice for connected health applications, such as outpatient monitoring and stay‑in‑place solutions.

Smart cities

Within smart cities, Cat M1 can meet a variety of needs and effectively control street lighting, determine waste management pickup schedules, identify free parking spaces, monitor environmental conditions, and survey the condition of roads in a matter of milliseconds.

Products

SARA-R410M
Size-optimized LTE Cat M1/NB1 modules

u-blox LTE Cat 1

Courtesy of u-blox

LTE Cat 1 is a medium speed LTE standard designed for more feature‑rich IoT applications that require higher data speeds.

LTE Cat 1 sits between the high speed LTE categories that are most commonly seen in smartphones and the low speed LTE categories developed specifically for Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine‑to‑Machine (M2M) applications. It is the lowest cost LTE category that still has the required speeds to support data streaming.

Fast LTE categories – LTE Cat 4 and higher – are ideal for mobile broadband applications and have therefore become standard in mobile phones. IoT‑specific categories, such as LTE Cat M1 or Cat NB1 (also known as NB‑IoT), provide much lower data rates, while also providing  optimized long battery life cycles and greater in‑building penetration as required by many IoT applications.

What is LTE Cat 1?
With speeds of 10 Mb/s downlink and 5 Mb/s uplink, LTE Cat 1 is ideal for a vast number of more feature‑rich M2M and IoT applications, including those that require video streaming and voice support. To ensure complete population and geographic coverage as LTE rolls out around the world, most LTE Cat 1 devices also provide 3G and 2G fallback connectivity.

In comparison to high speed 4G LTE categories, such as Cat 4 and greater, LTE Cat 1 provides:

  • Low power consumption with extended idle and sleep modes
  • Less complexity, resulting in a lower cost structure

In comparison to IoT‑specific technologies, such as Cat M1 and NB1, LTE Cat 1 supports:

  • Voice over LTE (VoLTE) in current implementations
  • Data streaming
  • Low latency applications

 

u‑blox – Leadership in Cat 1 Technology
u‑blox’s LARA‑R3 single‑mode LTE Cat 1 platform is the only cellular module in the market to feature a combination of LTE Cat 1 chipset and GNSS receiver, both developed in‑house.

If 2G or 3G fallback are required in areas with spotty LTE coverage, the u‑blox LARA‑R2 and TOBY‑R2 product series are most suitable and include variants that provide coverage around the world.

Key Applications

Smart metering
Cat 1 is well suited and ideal for monitoring medium bandwidth use cases, such as electricity meters and smart meter gateways. Such meters don’t need LTE Cat 4’s high data speeds of up to 150 Mbps that are designed for consumer mobile video streaming. The amounts of sent data are relatively small, the speed of transmission is not critical and low power operation is desirable, making the Cat 1 a perfect fit.

Smart buildings
Cat 1 technology still has sufficient data speeds for many video surveillance use cases, while also supporting voice services via voice over VoLTE. Many alarm services require a voice connection in case of an emergency and many home surveillance solutions make use of fixed‑position HD cameras connected to the cellular network, which allow people to monitor their homes, belongings and even pets, while they’re away from home.

Transportation
Already, many basic aspects of a fleet’s vehicle and assets are being monitored using cellular LTE coverage. Parameters of importance include mileage, location, stops, engine usage and hours of service. LTE Cat 1 provides cellular in‑vehicle handover, which means connections aren’t lost in a moving vehicle. Many LTE Cat 1 implementations are multi‑mode and provide 2G or 3G fallback in areas where LTE networks may not be available.

Connected health
While VoLTE is in planning for LTE Cat M1, it is not yet implemented by network operators. LTE Cat 1 however already supports VoLTE in current implementations, making it ideally suited for stay‑in‑place solutions, outpatient monitoring and mobile medical alert systems.

 

Products

Multi-mode LTE Cat 1 modules with 2G/3G fallback
LARA-R2
Single and multi-mode LTE Cat 1 modules with positioning capability
LARA-R3
LTE Cat 1 module based on u-blox LTE chipset with built-in GPS receiver

Low Power NB-IoT Modules

Courtesy of Everything RF

The SARA-N2 series from u-blox are Power-optimized NB-IoT (LTE Cat NB1) modules. They have been designed for applications that need to communicate for long periods of time in challenging radio propagation conditions, such as in buildings and underground. These modules can operate for 10+ years on a single battery. They are available in a small LGA package measuring 16 x 26 x 2.4 mm and are ideal for smart water metering, smart gas metering, smart sensors for remote monitoring and nomadic asset tracking.

 

u-blox AG – SARA-N200

Cellular Module from u-blox AG

Description: Power-optimized NB-IoT (LTE Cat NB1) modules

  • Wireless Technology: NB-Iot
  • Fallback: No
  • LTE/4G Category: NB1
  • LTE/4G Band: B8
  • Region: Europe & Middle East, Asia Pacific
  • Datarate Download Link: 27.2 Kbps
  • Datarate Uplink: 62.5 Kbps
  • Votage: 2.5 to 4.2 V

 

u-blox AG – SARA-N201

Cellular Module from u-blox AG

Description: Power-optimized NB-IoT (LTE Cat NB1) modules

  • Wireless Technology: NB-Iot
  • Fallback: No
  • LTE/4G Category: NB1
  • LTE/4G Band: B5
  • Region: Asia Pacific
  • Datarate Download Link: 27.2 Kbps
  • Datarate Uplink: 62.5 Kbps
  • Votage: 2.5 to 4.2 V

 

u-blox AG – SARA-N210

Cellular Module from u-blox AG

Description: Power-optimized NB-IoT (LTE Cat NB1) modules

  • Wireless Technology: NB-Iot
  • Fallback: No
  • LTE/4G Category: NB1
  • LTE/4G Band: B20
  • Region: Europe & Middle East
  • Datarate Download Link: 27.2 Kbps
  • Datarate Uplink: 62.5 Kbps
  • Votage: 2.5 to 4.2 V

 

u-blox AG – SARA-N211

Cellular Module from u-blox AG

Description: Power-optimized NB-IoT (LTE Cat NB1) modules

  • Wireless Technology: NB-Iot
  • Fallback: No
  • LTE/4G Category: NB1
  • LTE/4G Band: B8, B20
  • Region: Europe & Middle East
  • Datarate Download Link: 27.2 Kbps
  • Datarate Uplink: 62.5 Kbps
  • Votage: 2.5 to 4.2 V

 

u-blox AG – SARA-N280

Cellular Module from u-blox AG

Description: Power-optimized NB-IoT (LTE Cat NB1) modules

  • Wireless Technology: NB-Iot
  • Fallback: No
  • LTE/4G Category: NB1
  • LTE/4G Band: B28
  • Region: South America, Asia Pacific
  • Data Rate: 0 to 300 Kbps
  • Datarate Download Link: 27.2 Kbps
  • Datarate Uplink: 62.5 Kbps
  • Votage: 2.5 to 4.2 V

u-blox LARA-R3: Secure LTE Cat 1 & GNSS in one module

u-blox LARA-R3 offers superior safety and operational reliability, crucial for any IoT application. It provides end-to-end trusted domain security, protecting against possible security threats. LARA-R3 is unique in the market. We have LTE and GNSS technology in one module from a single supplier, u-blox. This also guarantees long-term product availability and a single point of contact in support cases. LARA-R3 – designed for M2M/ IoT! Learn more on the potential of Industrial IoT at https://industry.u-blox.com/

u‑blox and Galileo – advancing accuracy over 20 years

Courtesy of u-blox
Galileo Satellite Constellation by Lukas Rohr: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Galileo_sat_constallation.gif

Two decades after it was first conceived, the Galileo global navigation satellite system is raining down its signals across the globe. u‑blox, one of the few European‑based manufacturers of GNSS receiver chips, also twenty years old this year, has been closely keeping apace with Galileo’s development through their joint history.

But first, why yet another GNSS constellation? What does Galileo offer that GPS, GLONASS, and BEIDOU didn’t provide?

The quick answer is that although eight visible satellites are enough to give reasonable position accuracy in suburban or rural settings, the story is different in obscured urban canyons. There, the additional visibility of Galileo satellites along with BEIDOU, GLONASS and GPS will increase the probability of achieving an accurate position fix.

But more importantly, Galileo is the first GNSS system designed for and focused on civilian needs of the European community, with benefits worldwide. Conversely, GPS, GLONASS, and BEIDOU are intended primarily for military use while offering civilian benefits. That means that administrations could selectively de‑purpose each of those constellations from civilian use, potentially leaving Europe without a critical navigation and location service. While there are no current threats, the possibility of shutting down civilian usage is real. Galileo offers a solid, independent, European‑controlled navigation system.

Galileo is unique in several aspects, offering services beyond basic “Where am I?” navigation. It also serves niche markets with “thin” signals suitable for extreme low‑power receivers in wearable products, and “rich” signals for high‑performance, high‑precision products operating within a bountiful power environment.

Over the past two decades, Galileo grew from several disparate ideas in 1997 to a single concept that was accepted by the EU and launched as a viable project. Concept and funding issues that threatened its continuation in 2002, but the Galileo design team continued developing the technology, even as the Galileo space segment implementation was stalled. Despite these difficulties, they continually provided available technical specifications for Galileo signals, modulation, and message structure to encourage developers to consider Galileo‑based receivers. u‑blox, which had found rapid acceptance of its GPS modules, kept pace as specifications were released.

After years of incorporating GPS receiver chips from other manufacturers into their early micro‑modules, u‑blox celebrated the release of its own GPS receiver design with the u‑blox 5 family of modules in 2007. Anticipating progress with Galileo, its R&D team had designed preliminary Galileo software that could be tested against Galileo signals.

Initially, Galileo was going to use the same frequency band and CDMA modulation technique as GPS, allowing u‑blox 5 radio hardware, digital signal processing hardware, and software to support Galileo signals. But this meant that if the USA disabled the civilian GPS signal during conflicts, hostiles could still cruise into their targets using Galileo signals. Lively, intense, and occasional tempestuous political discussions ensued between the USA and EU, which eventually were resolved by a change to Galileo’s signal modulation scheme that isolated the systems while allowing them to coexist in the same frequency band.

Unfortunately, in 2007, the Galileo program suffered another financial/funding setback, and u‑blox software for Galileo went from “ready to test” to “bookshelf ornament”.

While Galileo funding was sorted out, schedule delays allowed its core design team to add features and improvements to the system. These became a significant step forward in services benefitting commercial and private customers. In a key Search and Rescue feature, for example, Galileo transmits an acknowledgment of an emergency locator beacon distress call. The message broadcast from the Galileo satellites is captured and displayed by the emergency beacon to alert the people in distress that help is on the way.

u‑blox engineers continued to track Galileo changes and updates, and maintained readiness through the next generations of u‑blox 6 in 2009, u‑blox 7 in 2013, and u‑blox M8 in 2014. Then, in December 2016, ESA authorized Galileo Early Operational Capability. u‑blox released its Galileo‑ready u‑blox M8 version 3.01 software and early adopters around the world sat huddled around their PCs, quietly watching u‑center displays from their u‑blox M8 module, rejoicing at the first detection of usable Galileo signals.

Here at last, the road for Galileo had been a tortuous trail to success. The future now appears easier.

On the security‑front, Galileo is developing tools to counter fears of spoofing – a method used to falsify an asset’s location by fiddling with the GNSS signals it receives. By 2020, Galileo should have “authenticated” signal technology to mitigate its effects.

And high precision GNSS is also in their sights. In time, Galileo Evolution will support three GNSS frequency bands for concurrent multiband transmission, significantly increasing positioning accuracy by allowing to correct for the largest source of positioning error: ionospheric perturbations.

This alone will, however, not be enough to achieve centimeter‑level positioning accuracy required by V2X vehicle safety systems and increasingly autonomous vehicles. While high precision GNSS services already exist today, they come at a hefty cost in the hundreds of US dollars, and the correction services involved are not applicable to mass‑market applications.

Recently founded by u‑blox and other companies, Sapcorda is seeking to fill this gap through the development a GNSS correction service specifically tailored to support high‑accuracy mass‑market applications, enabling centimeter‑level accuracy where communications and sources of correction data are available.

u‑blox will continue to keep pace with Galileo and other GNSS systems to support the myriad of new applications for safety, security, transport, and just plain location of “things.”

Clemens Buergi
Senior Principal Engineer

Meet u-blox SARA-R4 series: size-optimized LTE Cat M1/NB1 modules

SARA-R4 is among the world’s smallest LTE Cat M1/NB1 multimode modules with global support for IoT / M2M applications and includes software‑based global band configurability in a single hardware design. The SARA‑R4 supports ultra‑low power consumption and cost‑optimized solutions making it ideal for the development of LPWA IoT applications.

Smartwatches – the all‑in‑one wearable

Courtesy of u-blox

From the Apple Watch, to the Samsung Gear and Huawei 2, more and more smartwatches are popping up every day on people’s wrists. What started as a luxurious fashion accessory is becoming increasingly respected as a useful wearable.

Key to the smartwatches’ newfound appeal has been the increasing capability of today’s best devices. By incorporating onboard Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) positioning, the best smartwatches now achieve smartphone independence during workouts. And with recent improvements to the GNSS receiver’s energy efficiency, they can tuck the technology into a slim design, making them the ultimate all‑in‑one wearable.

Smartphone independence

The desire for smartwatches grew from the realization that having to take out and check our smartphones for every text message, notification, or navigational step was seriously annoying. By having a watch that could not only tell the time, but link us to our smartphones, we could stay in touch just by checking our wrist.

Ironically, as our phones have grown bigger, more powerful, and more integral to our daily lives, they’ve also become more cumbersome to carry around. While runners in 2017 may have been content to strap an iPhone 4 on their arm, doing the same with an iPhone 7 Plus would be quite a feat.

For smartwatches that’s meant that the obvious next step has been achieving smartphone independence. Having native apps and functionality like GNSS positioning that run right on the watch without requiring smartphone connectivity is useful for runners, hikers, and other athletes who don’t fancy carrying their phablets with them on their journey.

All‑in‑one device

The same demographic that is interested in the latest smartwatch is often also interested in fitness tracking, but no one wants to have to buy and wear two devices at the same time. The natural next step for smartwatches is to evolve into all‑in‑one devices that combine traditional smartwatch functionality with full‑featured fitness tracking.

The Apple Watch Series 2 and the new Fitbit Ionic exemplify this new type of smartwatch. Besides iPhone notifications, turn‑by‑turn navigation, and onboard music storage, they also feature great fitness tracking capabilities courtesy of onboard GPS.

Low‑power GNSS – the key to tomorrow’s smartwatch

With smartphone independence in the bag, the next frontiers in smartwatch design are likely to involve size and, consequently, energy. Just as demand for ever more smartwatch functionalities is increasing energy requirements, demand for ever slimmer designs – which ultimately means smaller batteries – are forcing smartwatch manufacturers to up the ante in terms of energy efficiency.

The bulk of a smartwatch’s energy supply powers its GNSS receiver. The recently released u‑blox ZOE‑M8B GNSS System‑in‑Package (SiP), uses the proprietary Super‑E technology to reduce the power expended on positioning by two thirds compared to traditional GNSS receivers. On top of that, it is tiny. Measuring just 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.0 mm, it offers manufacturers a complete positioning unit that can easily be designed into any highly integrated device.

By incorporating the low‑power consumption u‑blox ZOE‑M8B module, the next generation of smartwatches will be able to achieve smartphone independence with a slim design, fulfilling the promise of being the ultimate all‑in‑one wearable.

For more blog posts on wearables, see our posts on a great solution for GPS sports watchesand a super‑efficient GPS module could become a game changer for fitness trackers.

You can also visit our microsite dedicated to Wearables.

Florian Bousquet
Market Development Manager, Product Center Positioning, u-blox