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Sony preps extra-low power mobile GPS chips, draws on motion sensors for help

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Many of us can vouch for smartphone navigation being something of a battery hog. Sony would like us to navigate relatively guilt-free: its D5600 and flash-equipped D5601 chips chew no more than 10mW of power for everything they do. Most of their peers demand more than that just for the RF side of the equation, Sony says. They also won't lean on outside help for their location fix. Both chips talk to GPS, GLONASS and similar systems, but they further share the increasingly common ability to use an accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer to get a more reliable position lock. Don't expect thrifty GPS just yet, when Sony ships the basic D5600 in June and D5601 in September; that doesn't even include the time spent to build a phone or tablet around either of the new parts. We'll be patient if they reduce that anxiety over battery life whenever we're getting directions.

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