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Rockwell launches two-chip GPS receiver solution with 12-channel functionality; new GPS receiver chipset reduces design-in costs and speeds time-to-market.

Semiconductor Systems Tuesday introduced the Zodiac, a two-chip device that forms the core of a 12-channel GPS receiver.

The Zodiac chipset provides OEMs with high application flexibility and versatile memory configurations, while allowing easy integration into end-user GPS applications.

"The Zodiac announcement positions Rockwell as the leading low-cost GPS supplier with the only comprehensive GPS receiver solution to meet an increasing market demand," said Vinay Gokhale, product line manager, Commercial Global Positioning Systems. "This revolutionary new technology breaks the GPS receiver price/performance barrier and will accelerate the commercialization of GPS technology."

Rockwell's Zodiac chipset is comprised of the "Scorpio" Digital Signal Processor (DSP), which includes an embedded microprocessor, and the "Gemini/Pisces" MonoPac RF front-end, which includes an Analog/Digital (A/D) converter device. Together, these components create a complete GPS chipset solution that is easy and inexpensive to integrate into new GPS receiver designs.

Additional Zodiac features include:

o Embedded 16-bit, Advanced Architecture Microprocessor (AAMP2-8) that can support basic GPS measurements, navigation solutions and specific OEM requirements such as driving displays or interfacing with keyboards

o OEM selectable input voltages: 3V for minimum power consumption; 5V for minimum cost

o Integrated Digital Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator (DTCXO) and temperature sensor enabling the use of an external, low-cost crystal

o Integrated low-noise preamplifier for passive antenna operation

Produced in state-of-the-art, high-volume Rockwell foundries, the Zodiac chipset provides a 10-second TTFF (Time-To-First-Fix), as well as 90-second cold-start acquisition and 2-second reacquisition times.

Carrier smoothed tracking, for maximum DGPS accuracy and stability, and sophisticated software algorithms, for smooth ground tracks, enable the Zodiac chipset to perform under severe vibration and shock conditions and in urban and high foliage environments. The chipset is GPS L1, Coarse/Acquisition (C/A) compatible, and is designed to be upgradeable to accept the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS).

To support minimum design-in time, a board-level version of Zodiac, the Jupiter, is also available. This small-form-factor board (1.6 inches x 2.8 inches x 0.5 inch) delivers the lowest possible GPS system cost and is ideally suited for smaller-volume end-product applications and OEM test marketing programs.

Both the Zodiac chipset and Jupiter board come with a complete set of design tools, documentation and engineering support that accelerate the design-in process and shorten the OEMs time to market.

Samples of the Zodiac chipset will be available in January 1996, with volume production scheduled to begin in March 1996. Pricing is $70 for quantities of 10K. Jupiter board samples will be available in March 1996, with volume production scheduled to begin in July 1996. Pricing is $170 for quantities of 100.

For product information and technical documentation, call the Rockwell Literature Line at 800/854-8099 inside the U.S., at 714/833-6996 outside the U.S., or visit the Rockwell website at

Rockwell Semiconductor Systems is based in Newport Beach, Calif., and includes the Multimedia Communications Division, Wireless Communications Division and Network Systems. Multimedia Communications Division is the world market leader in fax and data modem chipsets. Wireless Communications Division provides global solutions for cellular, PCS, GPS and packet data applications.

Rockwell (NYSE:ROK) is a diversified, high-technology company holding leadership market positions in automation, avionics, aerospace, defense electronics, telecommunications, automotive component systems and graphic systems, with annual worldwide sales of nearly $13 billion.

CONTACT: Rockwell

Julie Seymour, 714/833-4379


Eileen Algaze, 714/833-6849

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 24, 1995
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