TI SimpleLink GPS CC4000 Enables GPS For MCUs

Yesterday, Texas Instruments unveiled the SimpleLink GPS CC4000, a GPS self-contained module that can be interfaced with any MCU or MPU having a UART interface.  Due to limited resources of microcontrollers, several GPS features have been implemented in hardware such as the push-to-fix function which can simply be controlled by the MCU via a GPIO to receive National Marena Electronics Association (NMEA) strings containing location, time and velocity information.

GNS GPU Module Interfacing with MSP430 Board
TI Simplelink CC4000 GPS Module (Green) and MSP430F5529 Experimenter Board (White)

TI Simplelink GPS CC4000 enables GPS-based applications such as asset tracking, industrial M2M, sports and fitness, and precision timing.

It can deliver better than 2.5 meter accuracy and provides pulse-per-second output functions to provide precise location and timing data. It can also automatically reuse previously decoded satellite information thanks to its “watchful-eye” feature in order to deliver fast time to first fix (TTFF) and optimize power consumption.

Here are SimpleLink GPS CC4000 key features:

  • Driverless, fully integrated GPS solution which requires <1% of the code size compared to existing GPS solutions. The lightweight code fooprint (1KB RAM and 1.5 KB) can be used with low-end MCU.
  • NMEA protocol communication with better than 2.5m accuracy
  • 35 seconds cold start and 1 second hot start in open sky conditions.
  • Timing accurary < 100 ns

Texas Instruments also provides (via GNS) a GPS module and an evaluation kit:

  • SimpleLink GPS modules GNS TC6000GN by GNS
  • SimpleLink GPS CC4000 evaluation kit (CC4000GPSEM) based on TC6000GN available on TI eStore for 39.99 USD (Free international shipping)

The SimpleLink GPS CC4000 can be used in conjunction with the MSP430F5529 Experimenter Board (149.99 USD on TI eStore), as well as any MSP430 MCU.

TI Simplelink CC4000 GPS Block Diagram
TI Simplelink CC4000 <-> MCU Connection Diagram

On the software side, TI provides CC4000+MSP430 GPS User Experience Code that contains demo applications and corresponding sample code, the  Lite FET-Pro430 tool to flash the example code in the MSP430 chip and a Navigator Tool, a PC Application which displays GPS Parameters.

You can watch an introduction of the module in the video below as well as a demo of SimpleLink GPS CC4000 with the MSP430F5529 Experimenter Board.

You can visit SimpleLink GPS CC4000 page and SimpleLink GPS CC4000 solution wiki: http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/CC4000_GPS_for_MCU for further information.

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