M8 multi-GNSS receivers achieve higher level of performance

27-01-2016 | U-Blox | Subs & Systems

New from U-blox comes firmware, FW 3.01, for its M8 concurrent multi-GNSS platform. The M8 FW 3.01 now also supports Galileo, in addition to GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, QZSS and SBAS. It can track up to three constellations concurrently and makes use of all SBAS and QZSS augmentation systems at the same time. With Galileo fully deployed, the European positioning system will provide access to 24 additional satellites, thereby significantly increasing availability of GNSS signals and further improving position accuracy in challenging urban environments. u-blox M8 supports Galileo-based eCall, the European emergency call system, which will be required in new vehicles starting 2018. The M8 is also compliant with ERA-GLONASS, eCall's Russian equivalent. In addition, with FW 3.01, the M8 now boosts the BeiDou acquisition sensitivity and adds support to the Indian GAGAN augmentation system. The M8 chips and modules are able to operate reliably in difficult environmental conditions as well as in a security attack scenario. Because a growing number of wireless systems rely on GNSS positioning, the threat of attacks, such as diversion of drones or hijacking of car electronics, has become very real. Security mechanisms are now embedded in FW 3.01, the result of years of intense research at u-blox R&D labs. An anti-spoofing feature detects fake GNSS signals, and a message integrity protection system prevents 'man-in-the-middle' attacks. Yet another security function detects and suppresses jamming. Since all this functionality is already built into u-blox M8 FW 3.01, these security mechanisms are a lot more effective than an external system implementation. Automotive-grade M8 products benefit from an extended operating temperature of -40C to +105C and are AEC-Q100 Grade 2 qualified. The extended temperature range allows more flexibility in vehicle integration, for instance by integrating an M8 GNSS receiver into a roof-top antenna where temperatures can reach 105C. Another welcome feature of FW 3.01 is the 10% power reduction compared to earlier firmware versions of M8, says the company. "U-blox has reached another milestone to provide customers with performance they need for advanced applications," said Uffe Pless, product manager, positioning, U-blox. "U-blox is at the forefront of ensuring GNSS security and remains the supplier of choice for professional and automotive GNSS implementations." The u-blox M8 platform supports applications where navigation performance, reliability, and high accuracy are paramount, whereas the recently announced u-blox 8 platform addresses power sensitive applications such as wearables. M8 and 8 products are pin- and software compatible, says the company.

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