Sarantel: New GPS Receiver Evaluation Kit; Will Help Portable Product Designers Quickly Incorporate Geographical Fixing Capability

WELLINGBOROUGH, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 10, 2003--A new evaluation kit from Sarantel allows OEM users of the company's DioHelix-F GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver module to characterise it within their system using a simple PC interface. The DioHelix-F module, which combines Sarantel's

omni-directional GPS miniature antenna with the Fastrax iTrax02/4 GPS receiver, measures only 66 x 30mm and weighs 30g. The output of the module gives a digital geographical position anywhere on the earth to an accuracy of about +/-10 metres and applications range from leisure products to vehicle navigation and logistics.

DioHelix-F presents an RS232 serial data stream containing NMEA standard navigational information. It can easily be integrated into a variety of applications such as PDAs, notebook PCs, asset and vehicle tracking, in-car navigation and mobile computing platforms to provide fast accurate geographical fixes without significant size or battery life impact - key considerations for these applications.

The small size of the DioHelix-F and its fast operation is due to a combination of Sarantel's PowerHelix(TM) antenna technology and Fastrax's popular iTrax02/4 receiver. The antenna results in particularly good omni-directional performance and high immunity to proximity interference from people, equipment and buildings. The evaluation kit consists of the DioHelix-F module mounted on a PCB which has sockets for power supplies and USB connections for interfacing to a PC as well as a CD of software.

"Today many GPS applications demand low cost, low power consumption along with a 'plug and play' capability," said Barrie Foley, CEO of Sarantel Ltd. "This new module enables us to meet all of these demands."

All GPS processing is carried out Fastrax's low power iTRAX02/4 GPS module which only weighs 4grams. The chip's RF section includes the RF IC, LNA (Low Noise Amplifier), GPS crystal, SAW filter and all necessary passive components. The DioHelix-F mounting arrangements are flexible; with serial data input, output, 3.3V and ground being the only connections needed, and all are made via one 12 way header. The DioHelix-F does not require a ground plane and therefore suits applications where size, weight and security are key requirements.

The DioHelix-F antenna, which operates on the GPS L1-band (1575.42MHz), uses Sarantel's patented PowerHelix(TM) design in which copper tracks, deposited on to a small ceramic cylinder, are individually and automatically laser-trimmed for optimum frequency response. This construction brings several key benefits. The module can be mounted side-by-side in combined applications such as Bluetooth and GPS without loss of performance. It also has a very broad beamwidth (3dB contour up to 120(degree) typical) making it highly effective at picking up GPS signals regardless of orientation or movement and allowing it to track low-elevation satellites thereby improving overall GPS performance and speed of response.

Sarantel sales contacts:

Jo Trimarco, Sarantel Ltd, Unit 2, Wendel Point, Ryle Drive, Park Farm South, Wellingborough, NN8 6AQ UK. Tel: +44 (0)1933 670561 Email: Email Contact

In the US contact: Jim Gray at Jim Gray & Associates +1 972 699 9976 Email: Email Contact

Sarantel press contact:

Andrew Shephard, EML +44 (0) 20 8408 8000 Email: Email Contact

About Sarantel

Founded in September 2000, UK-based Sarantel ( specialises in small antennas for portable and mobile devices, including GPS, ISM band (Bluetooth) and GSM, PCN and PCS mobile telephones. Built on 20 years of research effort, Sarantel Ltd is a privately funded company formed from the management buyout of the Symmetricom Inc. antenna division. Symmetricom is the world's leading provider of network synchronisation equipment and continues to back Sarantel Ltd in partnership with VCF Partners and employee investors.

The company has pioneered a new form of antenna design which etches copper on to dielectric ceramic cylinders and has also pioneered a highly cost-effective volume manufacturing process at its Wellingborough facility. With its close associations with Loughborough University, the company's PowerHelix(TM) technology will find applications in a wide variety of mobile wireless applications where it will offer dramatic improvements in many key performance areas. In addition to offering antennas to OEM manufacturers world-wide, Sarantel will license the design and manufacturing process to high volume manufacturers around the World.

PowerHelix(TM) is a trademark of Sarantel Ltd.

Photo ref: PEM3733 available from Email Contact

CONTACT: Sarantel Ltd
             Jo Trimarco
             Tel: +44 (0)1933 670561
Email Contact
             In the US contact: 
             Jim Gray & Associates
             Jim Gray
             +1 972 699 9976 
Email Contact
             Sarantel press contact:
             Andrew Shephard, +44 (0) 20 8408 8000 
Email Contact

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