SoftGPS, was: Re: Richard Stallmans standpoint about openmoko

Attila Csipa plists at
Fri Apr 20 09:40:18 CEST 2007

On Friday 20 April 2007 09:16, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:
> I would suspect: size, matching interfaces, availability, cost of
> additional components?

When I worked on similar things, cost and updates were the two main reasons. 
Sizewise often there wasn't such a big difference, cost was very important. 
You can save much more by spreading cost of SW development over a large 
number of units, HW savings by large order discounts are much smaller. The 
other reason was you can update the firmware often, if you expect 
interoperability issues, standard changes, or simply improvements. Having 
separate flash chips or update methods is really a pain, a central software 
repository is much cleaner. In the case of GPS the improvement factor is 
actually a very plausible reason (or at least would be if we had info on the 
raw data) - you can always think up ways to increase precision with neat 
tricks if you have access to the raw data. Imagine something like 
the .RAW/.CRW files in digicams. They contain proprietary data, but have more 
information than your distilled jpeg file, so if you think up a way which 
extracts this information better, you will end up with a higher quality 

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