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How does Xiaomi Mi 8 dual frequency GPS work?

As you may know, Xiaomi Mi 8 is the first dual-band GPS smartphone in the world that supports L1 and L5 dual frequency positioning and dual-band signal cooperation to effectively improve navigation accuracy in complex urban environments. With this feature, theoretically, you won't see any GPS connectivity issues, and global location tracking should be even more accurate. This is a very important result for Xiaomi since the company has done something that no other smartphone manufacturer has ever done so far. All is good, but how exactly does the new dual frequency GPS work? Well, if you asked yourself the same question, you have come to the right place, since in this article we will explain exactly how Xiaomi Mi 8's dual frequency GPS works:

What is the dual frequency GPS of Mi 8?

In its simplest definition, dual-frequency GPS uses two frequency bands instead of one. There are three main bands available for civil GPS uses which are L1 / E1, L2 / E2 and L5 / E5 where L represents the US global positioning system (also known as GPS) and E represents the European global positioning system (also known like GLONASS). Your usual smartphone only works with the L1 / E1 band and therefore the GPS used called single frequency GPS. Xiaomi Mi 8 uses the L1 / E1 and L5 / E5 bands and therefore has dual frequency GPS . While the Mi 8 uses the L1 and L5 bands, a dual frequency GPS can use a combination of any of the three bands.

How Mi 8 uses dual frequency GPS

To use dual frequency GPS, a device must have supporting hardware. Xiaomi has made its dual-frequency GPS device compatible using the Broadcom BCM4775 chipset which uses a combination of microcontrollers with sensor hub with integrated GNSS to achieve this endeavor. According to a document published by Broadcom, the company that made this chipset, the BCM47755 can simultaneously receive the following signals:

  • GPS L1 C / A
  • GLONASS L1
  • BeiDou (BDS) B1 QZSS L1
  • Galileo (GAL) E1 GPS L5
  • Galileo E5a
  • QZSS L5

Technical information aside, all you need to know that the Broadcom BCM4775 chipset used in the Mi 8 allows you to simultaneously receive signals from two different frequency bands; L1 / E1 and L5 / E5, so the Mi 8 can use dual frequency GPS.

Mi 8 dual frequency GPS: what are the advantages?

Since the BCM47755 chip inside the Mi 8 supports two frequencies (L1 + L5), the phone achieves lane-level accuracy outside, has greater resistance to multipath and signals reflected in urban scenarios and has greater immunity to interference and disturbances. The simultaneous use of two frequency bands also reduces errors from other sources such as those resulting from electron interference in the ionosphere. All these things mean that with Mi 8 you will get better navigation skills and greater position accuracy when locating . It also means that third-party developers now have the ability to use these features and use them for new applications such as in virtual reality, star mapping and more.

We tested the Mi 8's new dual-frequency GPS ourselves, but we didn't notice any significant differences. It could have something to do with the fact that Delhi doesn't have many skyscrapers and that the problems of the multipath effect and the reflected signals are not so relevant as to cause errors in other devices. Basically, Delhi is not the optimal location to test the new dual frequency GPS and therefore we cannot comment on how effective this new GPS system is.

Dual frequency GPS of Mi 8: a new advance that you won't notice

I hope I was able to explain the new dual frequency GPS technology that came with the Mi 8 to you guys. I have tried to simplify as much as possible, however, if you still have a problem understanding the concept, leave your questions in the comments section below and I will be happy to assist you. Also, if you are using Mi 8, tell us about your experience with this new GPS technology.