Microsoft’s New GPS Technology Allows for Much-Reduced Power Requirements

Microsoft CO GPS TechnologyMicrosoft is developing a highly-efficient GPS solution that offloads heavy data crunching to the cloud-based services to get around the high power requirement. The CO-GPS (Cloud-Offloaded GPD) was first unveiled in the 10th ACM Conference. GPS antennas are typically the biggest power hog in mobile devices and it can run down the battery in a few hours when used constantly. In theory, the CO-GPS technology can perform constant sensing for 18 months powered by only a couple of AA batteries.

By using only 0.4 milliJoules of power, the new solution cut energy requirement to 99.96 percent. Currently, mobile devices need 30 seconds to pull down required information to get a fix on precise location. This requires significant signal processing work through steady satellites tracking as users move. By offloading data from cloud services, users can get initial fix faster using far less power. The dramatic reduction in energy requirements will contribute to longer battery life, allowing for slimmer and lighter designs.