Microsoft Envisions Cloud-Based GPS Chip With Dramatically Low Power Consumption

The GPS chip inside a smartphone is one of the key components that drain a major portion of the device’s battery. Microsoft researchers have been trying to find a way to create a less power-consuming GPS chip and now, they have been able to do so by coupling the chip with the cloud.


The problem with a GPS chip is that it has to go through a whole lot of data in a brief while, which is why it ends up draining so much of a smartphone’s battery. For instance, first the chip has to get its hands on the satellite data, then it downloads and parses through many codes and finally, after all this, is it able to pin down its location.

All this requires power and that power is derived from the smartphone’s battery. So they key to develop a more power-friendly GPS chip is in somehow reducing the sheer number of tasks that the GPS much accomplish. This is precisely what Micorosft researchers have envisioned.

The researchers at the software giant thought of shifting some of the work load from GPS chip to the cloud. For instance, the chip is allowed to perform some initial tasks such as accessing the critically important data from the satellites.

It can then access a number of public databases to detertmine the past and present position of the smartphone. However, most of these calculations are done on a remote server and the results being pushed out on the smartphone. In this way, the overall power consumption of the GPS chip is significantly slashed.

Courtesy: Tech Review

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