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Broadcom Corporation Introduces New Global Navigation Satellite System for Wearable Fitness Technology

By Patrick Morris – Feb 20, 2014 at 2:09PM

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Broadcom announces a new chip that will allow wearable fitness trackers to boost their accuracy and lower their energy usage.

Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM) today introduced a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) system-on-chip (SoC), billed as the world's first location chip with the specific design to be used in wearable devices like smart watches and fitness trackers.

The company highlighted that the BCM4771 GNSS SoC will use 75% less power than existing solutions currently on the market, and it will also add advanced features like location batching, which will boost the accuracy of the speed and distance measurements.

There is a growing demand for products that allow consumers to both track and manage their well-being, fitness activity, and overall health. The activity tracking and location products are a key component of the industry. In addition, Broadcom noted its GNSS solution will reduce both the cost and complexity of the products as it combines a single chip with an integrated sensor hub.

"Today's wearables like fitness trackers have surged in popularity, but often miscalculate speed and distance," said Broadcom Marketing, Mobile and Wireless Group Director, Mohamed Awad, in a press release. "As the largest supplier of discrete GNSS solutions, Broadcom brings its location expertise to deliver more precise fitness and health measurements to the accelerating wearable market."

The company noted that wearable device industry revenues are expected to surpass $6 billion by 2018, and the sports, fitness, and wellness segment will account for half of the device shipments. The chip announced today by Broadcom will be showcased in greater detail at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. It expects to have the BCM4771 available for sampling by the end of the first quarter.

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Patrick Morris has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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