Galileo Support on FP2 via SW or HW upgrade?


Galileo is coming close to be usable on a daily basis since the last launch of new satellites :

So I was wondering if the HW chip may be compatible with new protocol via SW or FW upgrade to support Galileo or do we need HW upgrade, and is that case is there any plan to provide such component to FP2 users ?

Galileo is already supported, alongside GPS, Baidou, GLONASS, … afaik.

Not according to the specs. Or source, please.

… and the Snapdragon 801 of the Fairphone 2 would indeed additionally support Beidou, but no Galileo.


That would be a good news to have it already embedded, but I fear not :slight_smile:

Yeah I guess I was wrong.
I just went outside and Satstat showed me GPS, GLONASS & Baidou satellites. I am 99% sure I remember a time when it showed me 5 different satelite services, but if it really supported Galileo it would probably show some satellites here in Austria…

So any update on that subject ?

The chipset of the Fairphone 2 doesn’t support Galileo.
The chipset is located on the core module, so a different core module would be needed … discussed here …

Since there are Android smartphones with Galileo support I guess Android would support it already … or Android is indifferent about the location providers and everything important would be in the hardware drivers from the chipset vendors … I don’t know.

Otherwise … there are external USB and Bluetooth Galileo reveivers. I didn’t research Android options in that field, though.

Else … the Fairphone 2 has an unused USB stub (not a real port, just contact points) at the back, you could perhaps design and build a Galileo hardware addendum and write the software for it … the DIY category is here :wink: …




There is a simple thing about a clear answer here when looking closely into the SD 801 SoC hardware specs located here:

Please be so kind and point us to any information in the datasheet stating Galileo support which we all may have missed up to now.
Hopefully I won´t be proven having to wear glasses from now on. :sunglasses:

From the technical point of view I would clearly say: Without hardware no software.
Both systems (GPS/Galileo) are approx. 25+ years of age apart hence not compatible.
Even devices using GPS here in D/Europe need a correction offset parameter to make GPS work precisely outside of the US (military), as the US never really had intended to have everyone around the globe using their system (with high accuracy).

“Starting in March 1990,[4] to avoid providing such unexpected accuracy, the C/A signal transmitted on the L1 frequency (1575.42 MHz) was deliberately degraded by offsetting its clock signal by a random amount, equivalent to about 100 meters of distance. This technique, known as “Selective Availability”, or SA for short, seriously degraded the usefulness of the GPS signal for non-military users.”

I tend to state compatibility cannot be provided only by software without any further hardware. It would require a more advanced SoC e.g. SD 820 (A) with integrated Galileo supporting modem or a SoC supporting an external modem with Galileo reception e.g. SD 805 (outdated chip).

A DIY solution as mentioned by @AnotherElk probably would do as well.

I do not say that this is possible, but I just ask the question openly.

I was just wondering if by some FW upgrade of the GPS chip could become compatible with Galileo protocol. Since it could be very close protocol, frequency together with modulation, a reconfiguration could have been sufficient, but I don’t know enough on GPS and Galileo spec to tell that. Also with DSP you can change radically the algorithm to do different task (it’s quite common on STB do use that on Audio and sometimes Video decoding). And with FPGA chip you can do kind of HW upgrade, if antenna are compatibles, but in our case I doubt it’s based on FPGA, but most probably on classical ASIC chip. Those question could only be answered by Fairphone HW team I guess or Qualcomm ?

So my point is that lot of option are possible, but maybe none of them are actually feasible on our current HW.

Then the software could be modify accordingly to support without much problem from my perspectives, since the output of the chip will be very similar.

So here maybe of a very knowledgeable HW guy could help and then we can answer for sure. :slight_smile:

Generally it would be possible, but not with the actual (most common) FP2 design using Qualcomms SoC and an integrated modem.

Not with our SoC with a fixed design. It´s all integrated and small as Qualcomm designed it. Integrity is the major goal here, getting things optimized and smaller and smaller.

Same matter here. Depending on the pcb layout and DSP type, they are programmable for lots of real time audio effects or limited to only perform needed audio data calculations/conversions for which they are optimized. If they are not programmable, software (CPU) has to take over all. Video processing works accordingly as I believe.

Yes, FPGAs are a nice invention. Here actually all needed functions of the chip(s) the function design are programmed in form of a hardware description language. So usual programming tools as e.g. a compiler for C are not of use.
I don`t know of many other complex projects which are only build up on FPGA chips beside this

Yes, it´s pretty sure no FPGA.
Modern ASICs

Wiki is a good place to start off as well.

As I could read here too, FPGAs are often used as prototyping platforms before a chip is finally produced as an ASIC (SoC).
The direction (yet) seems to be the other way around as you would like to have
Who knows if this will change some day once specific FPGA obstacles are overcome.

So the only way to go is to get HW extra component to plug on the extra USB port on the back, but then the form factor would need to be very slick :slight_smile:

By the way I used to work for IoT company and since the LoRaWan was not very stable yet we got an FPGA on our board to be compliant with standard update (which was very common at that time)

Have a look into the DIY area, I don´t know about every available extension. Also browse other places on the net. Sometimes there is a hit for more users having made own hardware for the FP2. Replacement cases are available as well as others also wanted to keep their extensions in a slim form.

Some days ago I read an article about which chipsets / smartohones are able to use GALILEO. Unfortunately the Qualcom Snapdragon 800/801 ist not listed (yet?) and maybe never will be:

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It pretty sure will not be listed as this is a core feature the SD801 is missing.
There is no way to add it to the already in silicone fixed processing unit afterwards. Read the SoC specs above.

Any SD801 successor with Galileo support is not pin compatible and therefore would require a redesign of the FP2 core module.

Don’t forget to quote a few paragraphs down in that wikipedia article as well: :wink:


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