GNSS/GPS receiver modules & antennas

GNSS/GPS modules are all-in-one digital receivers with a down-converter that enables access to location and timing signals from satellites. They receive transmissions from satellites and use distance calculations to provide real-time locational data.

GNSS/GPS modules are either transmitters that have antennas or receivers that do not, and they are both all-in-one modules that can be integrated into wireless devices with minimal effort. A GNSS/GPS module that includes an antenna comes with a LNA (low noise amplifier) and a SAW filter to help boost performance.


What are GNSS/GPS modules & antennas?

GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) describes the various satellite constellations used around the world such as GPS, GLONASS and Galileo. GNSS receivers use signals from multiple satellites in any of these constellations and use trilateration for pinpoint accuracy. GPS (Global Positioning System) refers to a specific type of GNSS which was developed in the 1990s as the world’s first satellite constellation for navigation. GPS receivers use satellites that are from that specific constellation rather than others like with GNSS.

GNSS/GPS modules are used in navigation, positioning and timing applications such as personal navigation and asset tracking due to their precise locational properties. Through transmissions received from multiple satellites GNSS/GPS offers reliable reception in locations all over the world. Understanding how GNSS/GPS modules are integrated and perform is paramount to choosing the right module for specific applications.

How do GNSS/GPS modules perform?

GNSS/GPS modules acquire signals from multiple satellites (at least four) to provide a position fix. Satellite signals are significantly weaker when compared to other wireless technologies like cellular and Wi-Fi, so performance is critical for GNSS/GPS modules in order to ensure accuracy.

The most significant measurement of performance for GNSS/GPS modules is TTFF (time-to-first-fix). TTFF is the amount of time it takes for the module to obtain a position fix after powering up from receiving a satellite signal. TTFF is usually separated into three scenarios: hot, warm and cold. Hot is typically when the TTFF is no higher than 1 second with rapid acquisition of satellite signals. Warm has a TTFF of 25 seconds or shorter, whereas cold is typically 35 seconds or lower.

The performance measurement for GNSS/GPS modules is important as a lower TTFF is needed to maintain manageable levels of power consumption, which is a common obstacle in satellite communications.


Increasing battery life: the importance of the module

GNSS/GPS reception consumes more power when compared to other wireless communications as the satellite signals are significantly weaker. The radio channel between the satellite and module is fairly slow at a data rate of 50 bits per second. The longer the TTFF measurement, the more power is consumed; a strong signal can take a few seconds whereas a weak signal can take over half a minute.

The antennas within GNSS/GPS modules can be tuned by means of a tuning circuit (Pi Network) to increase the antenna’s ability to receive the GNSS/GPS signal. As the satellite signal is so weak, the module allows the antenna to be tuned to reduce TTFF without being affected by other device components. Antenova’s GNSS/GPS modules are optimised to maximise performance and provide a stable connection without negatively impacting power consumption.

Integrating GNSS/GPS modules

Because of the sensitivity involved with GNSS/GPS communications, the antenna usually requires very specific placement and integration onto the device PCB. The often used ceramic patch GNSS/GPS antennas need to be placed in the centre of the PCB, which is where the most important processing chips usually are.

Antenova’s modules with integrated antennas offer powerful drop-in capabilities and can be placed on the outside of the PCB without risking performance. Their all-in-one modular nature allows them to be integrated into device designs fairly easily, saving time and resources for device designers.


What are the best GNSS/GPS antennas and receiver modules?

Antenova offers a wide range of antenna solutions to suit specific designs and applications. We offer a range of GNSS/GPS antennas as well as the GNSSNOVA family of surface-mounted GPS and GNSS receiver modules that offer simple drop-in solutions for high levels of performance and seamless integration.


Sinica is an embedded GNSS antenna that maintains high performance and is designed for integration (DFI). It is a solution for all global public constellations of GPS, GLONASS, Beidou and Galileo. It has an ultra-flat compact design of 0.4mm thickness for SMD mounting and is intended for use with all positioning applications.

Beltii p/n

Beltii is a SMD GNSS antenna that is suitable for all global public constellations of GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and GALILEO. Beltii is ideal for small wearable devices due to its small ground plane requirement, high performance and good resistance to detuning. Beltii is designed for integration and offers pick & place capabilities for mass production.


An active SMD GNSS antenna that is suitable for all global public constellations of GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and GALILEO. M20047-1 comes in an ultra-small SMD package at 7.0×7.0x0.9mm and has great performance and efficiency, making it perfect for applications such as portable devices and asset tracking.


RADIONOVA integrated and SMD GNSS receiver modules that have access to GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou satellite constellations. Both modules have low current consumption and have internally generated orbit prediction (EASY) for short TTFF and great performance.


RADIONOVA SMD GNSS receiver modules that have access to GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou constellations. Both modules feature ultra-small SMD packages that enable easy integration with pick & place capabilities, making them ideal for small devices.


An integrated GNSS receiver module incorporating the MediaTek AG3335MN flash chip. The receiver tracks 4 GNSS constellations concurrently (GPS+Galileo+GLONASS+Beidou). 12nm process with 1.8V system power supply provides outstanding low power consumption. Multi-path algorithms improve position accuracy in inner-city environments. The on-board LNA provides good performance in weak-signal environments such as wearable devices.


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