Broadcom introduced the BCM47521, a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) chip with architecture to enable geofence capabilities while preserving battery life. 

The chip opens the door to always-on, location-aware applications such as social networking, place-based mobile commerce and local merchant advertising. The BCM47521 is in production and will be shipping in handsets later this year. 

The geofence feature enables the application to receive a notification when a user enters or exits a virtual perimeter. However, the implementation of this feature in traditional architectures is not viable as the applications processor needs to run constantly, causing rapid drain to the device's battery. Broadcom's BCM47521 overcomes this issue, making it possible to continuously monitor geofence areas while consuming 60 times less battery power. 

"The astounding growth of mobile devices is driving new opportunities for inventive applications that deliver valuable location-aware information," said Scott Pomerantz, Broadcom vice president and general manager for GPS. "With the BCM47521's low-power geofence mode, Broadcom is driving the next wave of system power consumption innovation that will allow OEMs to incorporate features that differentiate their mobile offerings and make location-aware, always-on applications a reality." 

The BCM47521 chip monitors geofences in the background and only activates the applications processor when there is a trigger event.