Qualcomm adds Chinese GPS support to smartphones

Chipmaker Qualcomm has added support for China’s BeiDou navigation satellite system to its solutions. The vendor said that using BeiDou will enhance location precision in smartphones and tablets in China and globally.

The vendor will support the satellite BeiDou constellation within Qualcomm IZat location solutions, increasing the number of satellites that Qualcomm-based devices can access to provide greater position location accuracy.

The vendor is collaborating with Korean device maker Samsung to launch the first wave of BeiDou enhanced consumer smartphones. The first, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3, uses the industry’s first integrated tri-band location platform to provide more accurate location data to users by concurrently processing signals from multiple satellite networks.

Providing accurate location information and services in China has historically been a challenge in some locations, according to Qualcomm, especially in urban canyons, where devices may suffer from low visibility to satellites blocked by tall buildings that obstruct the signals.

Support for BeiDou in China gives devices access to more satellites, increasing location accuracy. This improves customers’ pedestrian navigation, speeds local searches and enhances other location-based services, the vendor said.

Amir Faintuch, president, Qualcomm Atheros said that more than three billion devices featuring Qualcomm’s location technology have shipped to date and the introduction of BeiDou is the latest step to evolve the firm’s technology.

“We see BeiDou’s support being an important factor for OEMs in China, and globally as well. With this new location enhancement, we believe our customers can bring greater differentiation with advanced performance, applications and services.”

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