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Choosing the Right Chipset for your Device
The Uses of Automated Testing Software: Choosing a GNSS Chipset
Selecting a GNSS chipset for a new location-aware device is a critical R&D decision. Many factors need to be taken into consideration, and many factors—both intrinsic and extrinsic—can influence the accuracy and performance of the chipset within the final device design.

One thing's for certain—getting it wrong can be an expensive, even dangerous mistake. To give a basic example, an inexpensive GPS chipset is unlikely to provide precise positioning accuracy, with potentially serious results if the device is used in a maritime, automotive or aviation setting.

A manually intensive process
The role of the test lab in choosing a chipset for a new device is to identify the GNSS receiver that offers the right combination of precision, performance and cost for the intended end-use—whether it's an application-specific or multi-functional device.

That normally means many hours of lab testing, with one or more engineers taking measurements, noting the results, reconfiguring the device, repeating the measurement and compiling reports. This may add days to the new product introduction process, but cutting corners isn’t an option.

Reducing the time and cost of lab testing
Spirent has been working with customers worldwide to reduce the time and cost of the R&D testing process without compromising on test (or product) quality. Our TestDrive-GNSS software is designed to run tests and suites of tests automatically, removing the need for an engineer to be present at all times when tests are being run.

It automates the testing process by configuring the instruments in the system, stepping through the test sequences, and processing and storing the results. By removing much of the burden of manual test setup and configuration, TestDrive GNSS solves the following testing issues:
  • Test time and efficiency
  • Writing software to automate test sequences
  • Logging test results
  • Replication of test conditions
  • Writing of a test report
Gain a night shift without working nights R&D labs and design teams that use TestDrive-GNSS find it has many benefits—not least in that you can gain a night shift without anyone actually having to work through the night. That means shorter testing times, lower cost of test, and ultimately, the ability to choose the right GNSS chipset faster.
By: Stuart Smith - 8/14/2012 1:47:29 PM
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