U-blox announces the F9 platform with L1/L2/L5 frequencies supported

https://www.u-blox.com/en/press-releases/u-blox-announces-u-blox-f9-robust-and-versatile-high-precision-positioning-technology

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19 thoughts on “U-blox announces the F9 platform with L1/L2/L5 frequencies supported”

    1. Hi Ardusimple. It’s great to see that someone is already working on a low-cost board for the F9! Your kickstarter pledge for a board is very reasonable, less than an M8P eval board from u-blox. Do you know what your price will be once you start shipping? If you have any spare prototype boards lying around, I would love to do an eval and post the results to the blog.

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      1. Hi Tim,
        We still don’t know the prices of the board when the Kickstarter campaign ends, it will depend mostly on the demand we have.
        Right now we are short of prototypes (we are running reliability tests to make sure everything is ok) but as soon as we can we will send you one.

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    1. Thanks for sharing the link! Will you watch for future webinars too? 🙂

      Quote:
      Further webinars in April focusing on technical aspects of the u-blox F9 platform
      • Antenna considerations, correction service, multi-band positioning techniques
      • Automotive focus : Dead reckoning, multi-band & high precision techniques

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      1. Unfortunately, none of there webinars have happened. With engineering samples due at the end of July, I would have thought that they would have been ramping up their documentation and applications engineers to get data into the hands of early adopters. Hopefully, this doesn’t mean a BFR in the F9/M9 hardware design.

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  1. In the initial set of release notes for u-Center 8.28, u-blox “accidentally” refereed to :
    u-blox M9 / u-blox F9 with ROM 0.40, ROM 1.01
    in section 2.2 Supported Receiver Generations.
    and in section 3.1:
    Added firmware update support for u-blox M9/F9 including “update to ram” and no fis features.
    Within days this was removed, ans is nowhere to be found in either the current 8.28 or 8.29 release notes.

    u-blox already has multi frequency support in the M8 product. Having 2 RF chains, one supporting Glonass. Multi Constellation support introduced in firmware 3.01 is also now in the ROM versions of most M8 products.
    Applying Moore’s law to the M8 product, with an updated Cortex M4 and RF chains they should be able to provide what the F9 system promises.
    As to when is anyone’s guess, but ST & Broadcom have both announced competing products. IMHO from the “unintentional” slip up in the release notes, we have a pretty good idea that u-blox is going to have a product soon.

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    1. I am just looking at u-center changelog. This may be related:

      Version 8.29
      Bug fix for satellite view: Visualization of signals for multi-frequency case.

      Version 8.28
      Added firmware update support for u-blox next generation products, including “update to ram” and no
      fis features.

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  2. Hello Tim,

    this is a very interesting announcement indeed. Can you comment or maybe even a bit speculate on it? Do you think this is going to be the “killer product/chipset” for the low-cost precise positioning in terms of value and solution robustness? Where can we expect the price to be around? Seems like the features are pretty similar to the Chinese boards, but still u-box is a better brand…

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    1. Hi Kozuch. I don’t know any more than what is in the announcement but if u-blox can deliver the same combination of low-cost and high-performance that they have done for L1 then it should be a great product. I was pleased to see that they announced it will be available with or without RTK capability so hopefully they will retain a similar pricing model to the M8T/M8P where the non-RTK capable version is significantly more affordable than the RTK capable version.

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      1. Thanks for your comment. Yes the RTK/non-RTK product policy is interesting and I hope it will introduce a nice low-cost multi-frequency/multi-GNSS raw measurement product. Although RTKLIB seems not to be able to handle the multi-freq measurements very well (how can be seen from your latest tests), but maybe a nice product will attract more developers to address this issue.

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        1. Hi Kozuch. I felt that the results of my most recent experiment showed that any weakness in RTKLIB (at least related to tracking moving rovers in challenging environments) was more related to the quality of the observations and not to anything specific to dual frequency. If the new multi frequency u-blox receivers maintain the quality of observations of the current generation, then I suspect that RTKLIB will work quite well with them.

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          1. I thought rather the various multi-band linear combinations that you wrote RTKLIB can not do. What exactly do the linear combinations bring to the solution?

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