New u-blox receivers now support Galileo and embedded security
Issue Date: 2016-02-18

u-blox has released a new firmware, FW 3.01, for its u-blox M8 concurrent multi-GNSS platform.

u-blox M8 FW 3.01 now also supports Galileo, in addition to GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, QZSS and SBAS. It can track up to three constellations concurrently and makes use of all SBAS and QZSS augmentation systems at the same time. With Galileo fully deployed, the European positioning system will provide access to 24 additional satellites, thereby significantly increasing availability of GNSS signals and further improving position accuracy in challenging urban environments. u-blox M8 supports Galileo-based eCall, the European emergency call system, which will be required in new vehicles starting 2018. u-blox M8 is also compliant with ERA-GLONASS, eCall's Russian equivalent.

In addition, with FW 3.01, u-blox M8 now boosts the BeiDou acquisition sensitivity and adds support to the Indian GAGAN augmentation system.

u-blox M8 chips and modules are able to operate reliably in difficult environmental conditions as well as in a security attack scenario. Because a growing number of wireless systems rely on GNSS positioning, the threat of attacks, such as diversion of drones or hijacking of car electronics, has become very real. Security mechanisms are now embedded in FW 3.01, the result of years of intense research at u-blox R&D labs. An anti-spoofing feature detects fake GNSS signals, and a message integrity protection system prevents "man-in-the-middle" attacks. Yet another security function detects and suppresses jamming. Since all this functionality is already built into u-blox M8 FW 3.01, these security mechanisms are a lot more effective than an external system implementation.

Automotive-grade u-blox M8 products benefit from an extended operating temperature of -40 to +105°C and are AEC-Q100 Grade 2 qualified. The extended temperature range allows more flexibility in vehicle integration, for instance by integrating a u-blox M8 GNSS receiver into a roof-top antenna where temperatures can reach 105°C.

Another welcome feature of FW 3.01 is the 10% power reduction compared to earlier firmware versions of u-blox M8.