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Skytraq Technology modules meet market needs

SkyTraq Technology, a fabless semiconductor company, develops GPS/GNSS chipsets and modules for meter-level accuracy vehicle navigation and tracking applications and for centimeter-level accuracy real-time kinematic (RTK) surveying and precision guidance applications.

The company’s chipset design is driven by market trends, said Oliver Huang, the company’s general manager. He explained the company has moved from single-frequency to dual-frequency devices.

SkyTraq’s chipset is designed to be common hardware for different target applications enabled by customized software. Traditionally, in the automotive market, vehicle navigation systems have relied on fusing GNSS receivers with dead-reckoning technology that uses micro-electromechanical (MEMS) inertial measurement units (IMUs) and wheel-tick data. “We are now seeing more aftermarket vehicle tracking applications that take advantage of superior GNSS/DR performance using untethered dead-reckoning technology that uses sensor fusion of GNSS receiver and MEMS IMUs without the need for wheel-tick data,” Huang said. “GNSS receivers with decimeter or better accuracy, combined with dead-reckoning that uses low drift IMUs, will be important in emerging autonomous vehicle applications.”

SkyTraq’s PX100 chipset for L1 meter-level accuracy applications and centimeter-level accuracy RTK applications uses L1
and L1/L2 signals from all four major GNSS constellations (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou).

Because of the trend toward high-precision, which requires good carrier-phase raw measurement data, the biggest challenge in receiver design is with the antenna, Huang explained. “Using an advanced semiconductor process, one can have low power, small size chipsets taking advantage of all the available GNSS signals, yet there is no small antenna capable of producing high-quality carrier phase data for high-precision GNSS applications. So far, we have only seen bulky RTK antennas capable of generating high-precision results.”

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