Mass market RTK from uBlox


 u-blox (SIX:UBXN), a global leader in wireless and positioning modules and chips, launched today the NEO-M8P GNSS receiver modules, which are compatible with both the GPS and GLONASS satellite-based navigation systems and deliver high performance down to centimeter-level accuracy.

Measuring merely 12.2 x 16 x 2.4 mm3, NEO-M8P is the smallest high precision GNSS RTK (real time kinematic) module available on the market. The u-blox rover (NEO-M8P-0) receives corrections from the u-blox base receiver (NEO-M8P-2) via a communication link that uses the RTCM (Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services) protocol, enabling centimeter-level positioning accuracy. The RTK algorithms are pre-integrated into the module. As a result, the size and weight are significantly reduced, and power consumption is five times lower than existing solutions, thus cutting costs and improving usability dramatically. Customers can further reduce their R&D efforts, as they do not have to spend significant resources and time to develop an in-house host-based RTK solution.

RTK technologies have been used for some time in low-volume niche markets, such as surveying and construction. Due to high costs and complexity, this enhanced positioning technology has been inaccessible for most other uses. Emerging high volume markets, such as unmanned vehicles, require high precision performance that is energy-efficient and low in costs. Other application areas include agriculture and robotic guidance systems, such as robotic lawnmowers. The u-blox NEO-M8P answers these demands for a small-sized, highly cost-effective, and very precise RTK-based module solution.

Full release here 

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  • @Emlid,

    we should be fair.

    You can buy today 3G GPS enabled smartphone at $100.

    You can buy a drone from JDI at $500.

    So I find it really hard to find market demand for your 

    Reach RTK KIT at $570

    What matters are live tests of RTK GPS.

    I tests Ublox GPS on-line.

    Could you just connect your Emlid Reach to web server to let us test RTK accuracy on-line, via webpage and 24h GPS plot ?

    100M Ublox RTK GPS chips can go to motor industry under contract with EU EC.

    I don't expect motor industry to follow your concept of RTK GPS kit (2 devices).

    I can help to unlock NTRIP corrections as a public, open service to cut price of

    RTK GPS by half.

    Android or OS based Smartphone is a genuine computer.

    If equipped with RT GPS, NTRIP service unlocked and corrections data broadcasted freely via Radio/TV data channel, you can sell MM of such smartphones to consumer market.

    If you are interested I can work on unlocking NTRIP corrections and develop public network of geodesy grade GPS  ground stations, broadcasting NTRIP correction data.

  • Surely news about M8P are exciting as RTK is getting more and more accessible. But let's have a look at how it compares with Emlid Reach. 

    First we need to note that NEO-M8P is just a chip, while Reach is a ready to use device. Reach has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4Gb of memory for storing logs, 9DOF IMU and USB OTG. It is already available and costs only $235. 

    You can actually get just one device as they support NTRIP corrections.

    NEO-M8P lacks support of Beidou, which is available in Reach and is highly beneficial when operating in Pacific region. RTK on Reach can run up to 14Hz, compared to 3Hz on M8P (5Hz in the future). 

    All software, running on Emlid Reach is open-source and you can modify it for your needs. You can add support for new protocols and easily integrate with different equipment. 

    Lot's of work went into making Reach easy to use, all settings can be controlled from any device using ReachView web-app. This is an example of main status and correction links settings.


    We will definitely test how RTK algorithms developed by u-blox compare to RTKLIB used in Reach, but you will still need a device like Emlid Reach to unleash the potential of M8P. 

  • Ublox has contract with EC to equip every new EU manufactured, registered car with high precision GPS.

    So I don't expect motor industry to get ready to pay $1,000 for  RTK GPS as early bird.

    Manufacturers of smartphones can pay $100 or less for high-precision RTK GPS embedded into new smartphone models.

    But demand for high precision all-in-one RTK GPS chip is almost unlimited (>1B pieces)

  • So, if I understand this right. This chip will do the same thing the M8T equipped Reach RTK does at the moment, the only difference being that the corrections are performed in the chip, no need for the external edison and RTKLib processing.

    But I can't still buy a Ublox M8P because I need to wait for some manufacturer to put it in a nice circuit board with connections, etc.

    But I am probably still better off waiting for these designs which will appear shortly than buying a Reach.

    Am I right or is there anything I am missing here? The precission GNSS World is quite new to me

  • @Hector,

    you buy top novelty in GNSS technology, highest accuracy compact RTK GPS unit,

    offered to industry , to large and small aircraft, large drone and small or micro drone.

    You can expect prices to fall to $100 by the end of 2016 since competition is high

    and markets can be satured with novelty RTK GPS just within few months.

    What comes next is L1 + L2 RTK GPS

    and public global network of Ground Control Stations for on-line corrections.

    Otherwise, operation of airborne RTK GPS is still complicated since access to Ground Control Stations is highly limited not to say closed to the public (hobbyists).

  • Somebody could explain me why are they more expensive that a simple GPS module? I mean, what hardware (or software/algorithm) part makes this device 'so expensive'?
  • Off the top of my head I can think of six other ~ $1000 US or less - some much less - RTK systems:

    NVS        -
    Emlid      -
    NavSpark -
    Drotek     -
    SwiftNav -
    Tersus   -

    They all have their strengths and weaknesses.  While the really inexpensive systems are going
    to be L1 only for the near future, in the next year or so I expect we will see some ~ $1000 dual
    frequency systems.  I believe NavSpark has said they want to create one.  Perhaps some of the
    Chinese OEM boards like from Unicore and ComNav will make it into lower cost products.  Tersus
    seems to have done this with their (Unicore) $800 L1/L2 RTK board.  They now offer a dual
    frequency (GPS only) RTK system for $2000.

    The NV08C-RTK is fully integrated multi-constellation satellite navigation receiver with embedded RTK functionality. The NV08C-RTK’s key feature is i…
  • The uBloxes always supported RTK, but required a $300 module with unlocked firmware to generate RTCM messages.  It's the same price, but repackaged from the source so you don't have to track down rtklib.

  • @dionh,


    there is no need to invent 10 year old technology again.

    IMU + GPS navigation is 10 years old technology, called inertial GPS navigation.

    from Wikipedia


    Inertial navigation systems were originally developed for rockets. American rocket pioneer Robert Goddard experimented with rudimentary gyroscopic systems. Dr. Goddard's systems were of great interest to contemporary German pioneers including Wernher von Braun. The systems entered more widespread use with the advent of spacecraft, guided missiles, and commercial airliners.

    Early German World War II V2 guidance systems combined two gyroscopes and a lateral accelerometer with a simple analog computer to adjust the azimuth for the rocket in flight. Analog computer signals were used to drive four graphite rudders in the rocket exhaust for flight control. The GN&C (Guidance, Navigation, and Control) system for V2 provided many innovations as an integrated platform with closed loop guidance. At the end of the war Von Braun engineered the surrender of 500 of his top rocket scientists, along with plans and test vehicles, to the Americans. They arrived at Fort Bliss, Texas in 1945 under the provisions of Operation Paperclip and were subsequently moved to Huntsville, Alabama, in 1950 [2] where they worked for U.S. Army rocket research programs.

    In the early 1950s, the US government wanted to insulate itself against over dependency on the German team for military applications, including the development of a fully domestic missile guidance program. The MIT Instrumentation Laboratory (later to become the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc.) was chosen by the Air Force Western Development Division to provide a self-contained guidance system backup to Convair in San Diego for the new Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile [3][4][5][6] (Construction and testing were completed by Arma Division of AmBosch Arma). The technical monitor for the MIT task was a young engineer named Jim Fletcher who later served as the NASA Administrator. The Atlas guidance system was to be a combination of an on-board autonomous system, and a ground-based tracking and command system. The self-contained system finally prevailed in ballistic missile applications for obvious reasons. In space exploration, a mixture of the two remains.

    In the summer of 1952, Dr. Richard Battin and Dr. J. Halcombe "Hal" Laning, Jr., researched computational based solutions to guidance, and undertook the initial analytical work on the Atlas inertial guidance in 1954. Other key figures at Convair were Charlie Bossart, the Chief Engineer, and Walter Schweidetzky, head of the guidance group. Schweidetzky had worked with Wernher von Braun at Peenemuende during World War II.

    The initial Delta guidance system assessed the difference in position from a reference trajectory. A velocity to be gained (VGO) calculation is made to correct the current trajectory with the objective of driving VGO to zero. The mathematics of this approach were fundamentally valid, but dropped because of the challenges in accurate inertial guidance and analog computing power. The challenges faced by the Delta efforts were overcome by the Q system (see Q-guidance) of guidance. The Q system's revolution was to bind the challenges of missile guidance (and associated equations of motion) in the matrix Q. The Q matrix represents the partial derivatives of the velocity with respect to the position vector. A key feature of this approach allowed for the components of the vector cross product (v, xdv, /dt) to be used as the basic autopilot rate signals—a technique that became known as cross-product steering. The Q-system was presented at the first Technical Symposium on Ballistic Missiles held at the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation in Los Angeles on June 21 and 22, 1956. The Q system was classified information through the 1960s. Derivations of this guidance are used for today's missiles.


  • @Daruis

    According to the article  researchers have now found a way to make GPS technology accurate down to an inch, thanks to a new set of algorithms

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