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 [GUIDE] Sorting through the GPS Chipsets on Garmin

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
gpspassion Posted - 24 oct. 2008 : 20:20:19


Index : 1. Introduction / 2. The Move to High-Sensitivity / 3. High-Sensitivity Galore
4. Full List of GPS Chipsets and GPS Systems

1. Introduction : Until 2005, Garmin GPS systems, be they handheld (eTrex, G60/G76), mixed (GPSV), car (SP2610, C320) or Marine (GPS276) used a "low sensitivity" Garmin chipset, with little correlation power. This meant long acquisition times (you could help by giving an approximate position), frequent loss of position in difficult environments (dense urban areas, forests with thick tree cover, etc...) and no operation at all (coated windshields). On the other hand the position was very stable as the module could only work with "clean" signal.

Continued in this article on the portal.

Questions, comments ?
50   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
sussamb Posted - 17 juil. 2012 : 13:52:24
It's most certainly region dependant ... the EU 13xx and 14xx series have 4GB, the US versions only 2GB.
Toby737 Posted - 17 juil. 2012 : 09:56:18
I think it's also region dependant. I know for a fact that the EU 35xx series has 8GB internal memory, whereas the AU 35xx series only has 2GB internal memory. It's most likely similar for all the nuvi series as the maps for AU & NZ are smaller in file size than the EU and US maps.

It does kinda suck tho that Aussies pay more for a 3590 that only has 2GB capacity, than the EU 3590 8GB version.
NanaimoRick Posted - 03 juil. 2012 : 16:26:17
Pulled these internal storage numbers from a number of sources, so don't ask were I found them as I simply don't remember and I can't guaranty them 100% :

Nuvi 30/40/50 = 2GB
24x5 and 25x5 series including the 2595 = 8GB
3400 = 8GB

For some of these model's I've seen numbers in the 7+gb range but I'm betting that's 8GB less the system overhead.
gpspassion Posted - 26 juin 2012 : 13:05:12
Which models do you have in mind, the 2xx5 series ? Unfortunately Garmin doesn't publish any specs, but based on the pricing of the 3xxx and 2xxx series, the 3xxx must use more expensive components, the higher-resolution "iPhone like" screen for a start.
ELEGEND_YVR Posted - 25 juin 2012 : 04:01:24
Do we know what the memory capacity is and the cpu speed of the newer 2012 garmins are?
gpspassion Posted - 10 janv. 2010 : 18:21:04
Just updated my nuvi 550 to v3.50 and the GPS Firmware is still at v2.47b, odd since the Oregon with ST Micro Cartesio is at v3.70b, maybe a different chip after all.
gpspassion Posted - 04 déc. 2009 : 20:22:12
v4.10b topic -> http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=131579 - it seems they might be have pushed the sensitivity a bit too much...
gpspassion Posted - 01 déc. 2009 : 01:23:07
Still 3.70b on the Oregon with SW v3.40 and v2.47b on the 550 with SW v3.40 !...Article now updated with an intro for 2009 -> http://www.gpspassion.com/fr/articles.asp?id=259
gpspassion Posted - 27 nov. 2009 : 20:44:26
Good catch, let's find out about the Oregon first.
Dewi Posted - 27 nov. 2009 : 20:33:57
Cartesio FW is now at v4.10b (in the latest 1XXX and 2X5 software, maybe Oregon too). The portal page should be updated.
gpspassion Posted - 04 août 2009 : 12:48:46
Interesting and interesting to see that topic ends with a link to my MTK v2 testing ;-)

Wonder how they established it was indeed MTK v2 though, normally you would look at copyright info or GPS SW version like we tried to do with louchem last year on the previous page when he was having problems updating his eTrex and we suspected it might be MTK v2 already.
jotne Posted - 04 août 2009 : 12:42:41
New 60csx are using the MediaTek MT3329, more info here.
gpspassion Posted - 25 mai 2009 : 11:42:39
quote:
Originally posted by gpspassion

Thanks for the update, hard to understand what's going on! I'll see if I can get some info on that potential new chipset/platform. Since the eTrex H series use the MTK v1 chipset maybe they've switched to the MTK v2 chipset already used on the Qstarz Nano BT dataloggers. Could you tell us how you find the performance of your eTrex in the eTrex H Topic?

Some news on this front with this PR http://tinyurl.com/mtkgarmin announcing the new MTK v2 (MTK3329) chipset...that's been available since late last year, but MTK are now saying it has been adopted by Garmin, but not in the eTrex H but on the GPSMap60, which seems odd since that platform has always been SiRFStarIII based. Either that has changed or they got the model wrong!
gpspassion Posted - 23 avr. 2009 : 20:13:24
You appear to have a nuvi 2x0 v2 based on the 2x5 platform, very similar except it didn't get the Ecoroute update -> http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=120353
NotMoneyGuy Posted - 23 avr. 2009 : 18:03:26
My nuvi 260 has Software Version 5.00, Audio Version: 1.00, and GPS SW Version: 2.55b. Also microSD slot. Discontinuation seemingly made for some nice upgrade goodies, really like this unit.
gpspassion Posted - 20 mars 2009 : 17:53:57
And your GPS FW is v2.55b ?
Sas7 Posted - 20 mars 2009 : 16:37:50
Just checked webupdater yesterday and it offered a 5.0 firmware update. Unit's been updated, everything seems to be running good for now.
Sas7 Posted - 12 mars 2009 : 11:29:50
Thanks, that's great.
gpspassion Posted - 11 mars 2009 : 09:49:25
I would think so as they still offer updates for very old models. By the way, we have a topic dedicated to the 2x0 v2 units like yours with the 2x5 interface -> [TOPIC] Nuvi 2x0 with 2x5 interface and Type B GPS.
Sas7 Posted - 11 mars 2009 : 09:40:10
I have a Nuvi 260 with GPS SW 2.55b. It has some of the features of the 2*5 series especially the way the map displays. The zoom icons are to the top right of the screen along with speed, menu and arrival time on the bottom in that order. It also has the Where am I feature.

It doesn't have geo tagged navigation and I wasn't able to get Eco routing on the recent most update.

Currently at firmware 4.80, webupdater says that's the latest though some 260 owners are reporting they have 5.0 now. I guess that has to do with the chipset, 2.55b as per the article is STM Cartesio, so maybe it doesn't need the 5.0.

I got this unit in mid Feb 09, so Garmin was probably using the 2*5 chipsets for the last batch of 260's. As per their website 260 is now discontinued. Does anybody know if they'll continue to offer firmware updates ?
gdi Posted - 19 févr. 2009 : 15:38:54
Thank you. Bill H
gpspassion Posted - 17 févr. 2009 : 19:02:44
Tools/Settings/about
gdi Posted - 17 févr. 2009 : 13:30:44
8mo old 260w. How can I display/screenshot my unit's chipset soft/firmware version? I've prowled this site, but can't figure out how to find this diagnostic info. Thank you. Bill H
graywo Posted - 18 janv. 2009 : 10:24:52
Thank you
yes, I got it on April 08, CN Europe 08 NT preinstalled
gpspassion Posted - 18 janv. 2009 : 00:57:11
Welcome to the forums, you got one of the early 2x0's then.
graywo Posted - 17 janv. 2009 : 19:32:35
I have Nuvi 250, SIRF GSC3f module PN B0478-00 SW v3.00
Boot BLK, X-Loader, System PN B06600-00 SW v3.80
gpspassion Posted - 14 janv. 2009 : 19:27:55
Article on the portal updated with the v3.10b info, posted by SergZak here : http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=122026
gpspassion Posted - 24 nov. 2008 : 10:59:16
Article on the portal updated with the type G/M/M2 and also added a link to louchem's write-up on the "mystery chipset".
gpspassion Posted - 12 nov. 2008 : 12:45:48
Thanks for the update, hard to understand what's going on! I'll see if I can get some info on that potential new chipset/platform. Since the eTrex H series use the MTK v1 chipset maybe they've switched to the MTK v2 chipset already used on the Qstarz Nano BT dataloggers. Could you tell us how you find the performance of your eTrex in the eTrex H Topic?
louchem Posted - 12 nov. 2008 : 06:02:29
quote:
quote:
Originally posted by gpspassion
@louchem - that about screen is odd indeed, but how do you know you got the GPS FW version (2.80 ?) on the diagnostic page, since it's 2.80 it could well the the System software version? I fired up my eTrex Vista HCx and sure enough it shows "Bravo Version 2" with Software version being v2.80 too.


I am flying a bit blind because I have not been able to connect to the Garmin server for a firmware update. I always get an error after it does the software check (and tells me I have the latest version) and after I click <Next> to try and download "additional" updates. So, I have no way of telling which chipset type I have.


Just wanted to update this a bit. I was able to download the recent v2.9 system software update to my Venture HC last night. Again the download for any chipset updates failed as before. When checking diagnostics I now have listed software version 2.9 and Bravo version 3. So, my assumption before that the software version on the diagnostics screen was the chipset version was wrong, it is actually the system software version. I still do not have any listing for GPS SW version in my software version page on the unit, so I still have no idea what chipset and version of the GPS SW I am running.

Garmin e-mail support was decent trying to help me in figuring out why I cannot connect to the server for chipset updates...up until I reached a software engineer. He was not very helpful and has now stopped answering my questions. I guess they just want me to go away.

One other interesting tidbit. A user on the Groundspeak forums has actually intercepted the communications between his version of WebUpdater and the Garmin site when trying to update his Bravo3 Venture HC. He has the exact same problem I do where it is not connecting for chipset updates. Here is the info he gathered in case someone finds it useful

quote:
I decided to grab the traffic between the updater and Garmin's website, and this is what I see (binary information removed). Perhaps they can use that as a starting point in figuring out what is wrong with their own web services. I'd be glad to provide the whole capture, but if they don't know how to capture it themselves, then they really should pay me for it :)

POST /support/WUSoftwareUpdate.jsp HTTP/1.1
Accept: text/*
User-Agent: WebUpdater 2.4.1
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Host: www.garmin.com
Content-Length: 1340
Cache-Control: no-cache
Cookie: ......

req=%3c%3fxml%20....


And the response:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: Apache
Content-Length: 22
Content-Type: text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2008 16:03:24 GMT
Connection: keep-alive
Set-Cookie: LB=jahia2; path=/

500: Exception caught


The XML request in the request body, after replacing all the escape code:

req=<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no" ?>
<Requests xmlns="http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/UnitSoftwareUpdate/v3">
  <Request>
	<PartNumber>006-B0695-01</PartNumber>
	<TransferType>USB</TransferType>
	<Region>
	  <RegionId>14</RegionId>
	  <Version>
		<VersionMajor>2</VersionMajor>
		<VersionMinor>90</VersionMinor>
		<BuildType>Release</BuildType>
	  </Version>
	</Region>
  </Request>

  <Request>
	<PartNumber>006-D0XXX-00</PartNumber>
	<TransferType>USB</TransferType>
	<Region>
	  <RegionId>16</RegionId>
	  <Version>
		<VersionMajor>2</VersionMajor>
		<VersionMinor>0</VersionMinor>
		<BuildType>Release</BuildType>
	  </Version>
	</Region>
  </Request>
</Requests>


gpspassion Posted - 06 nov. 2008 : 01:20:06
Another site ? Try this topic GPS acquisition nüvi 7xx / SIFv2 AGPS impact ? in the forums. But anyway this is not GPS Chipset related but has more to do with the design. As a sidenote SiRFInstanFixII is not an "antenna" it's just an AGPS capable firmware for the SiRFstarIII chipset ;-)
Stefan C Posted - 06 nov. 2008 : 01:15:07
I've actually heard about a year ago from another GPS review site that the Garmin nuvi 7x0's have a less sensitive/reliable antenna than the nuvi 6x0's since the 6x0's use a pop-up antenna but the 7x0's have a built in one. Well...I have a nuvi 760 and the reception is extremely good. Sometimes I even get 14-15 foot accuracy but usually 20-30 foot accuracy which is still really good. My 760 has the SiRFInstantFix2 antenna built in.
louchem Posted - 01 nov. 2008 : 02:35:00
quote:
Originally posted by SergZak
Did the bravo version and the displayed GPS chipset version coincide? The reason I ask is because my "Bravo" version is listed as version 2 yet my GPS software version is listed as 2.80 and was detected/updated as v2.80m (MTK). Like I said in my last post, I have a feeling this "Bravo" version has nothing to do with the GPS chipset...but then again, I could be very wrong as well.


Well, I'm just going by what I've read on the internet...so I guess take it with a grain of salt. At first I was assuming I had the Mediatek chipset and figured it was just already pre-loaded with the v2.8 upgrade. But, the 2.8 upgrade was released in mid-October around the same time I ordered my unit, so the more I think about it maybe that is not correct. I'm not certain whether the 2.8 on the diagnostics page refers to the GPS SW version or the system software version. Of course right now (assuming a Mediatek chip) they would have the same 2.8 version designation.
quote:
Originally posted by gpspassion
@louchem - that about screen is odd indeed, but how do you know you got the GPS FW version (2.80 ?) on the diagnostic page, since it's 2.80 it could well the the System software version? I fired up my eTrex Vista HCx and sure enough it shows "Bravo Version 2" with Software version being v2.80 too.


I am flying a bit blind because I have not been able to connect to the Garmin server for a firmware update. I always get an error after it does the software check (and tells me I have the latest version) and after I click <Next> to try and download "additional" updates. So, I have no way of telling which chipset type I have.
SergZak Posted - 01 nov. 2008 : 01:58:56
My thought was that maybe they are polling the GPS chipset internally for it's ID and using that as the ID used for display. Since they are now using multiple manufacturers (and likely will be switching again in the future), maybe the location of the chipset ID varies too much between the manufacturers so they can't rely on a positive ID 100% of the time. Like I said, just thinking aloud...

You do have a point though about having to properly ID the chipset to push the proper update...
gpspassion Posted - 01 nov. 2008 : 01:43:33
But surely they have a way of knowing, there aren't that many combinations? And would need to know to push the proper update?

@louchem - that about screen is odd indeed, but how do you know you got the GPS FW version (2.80 ?) on the diagnostic page, since it's 2.80 it could well the the System software version? I fired up my eTrex Vista HCx and sure enough it shows "Bravo Version 2" with Software version being v2.80 too.
SergZak Posted - 01 nov. 2008 : 01:08:26
quote:
Originally posted by louchem

I've had users who have older Bravo version 2 varities of the Venture HC post screenshots of their software version page and it shows system software version as well as GPS SW version.

Did the bravo version and the displayed GPS chipset version coincide? The reason I ask is because my "Bravo" version is listed as version 2 yet my GPS software version is listed as 2.80 and was detected/updated as v2.80m (MTK). Like I said in my last post, I have a feeling this "Bravo" version has nothing to do with the GPS chipset...but then again, I could be very wrong as well.

quote:
So, something is definately different in the newer shipping units.
I have heard reports of GPS chipset versions no longer being displayed even on the maintenance/diagnostic screens on newer units with the newest updated unit software (firmware). Perhaps Garmin is doing this (blocking the display of the GPS chipset version) for a reason...maybe because they are now using different GPS chipsets from different manufacturers and have no positive way to ID them in the system software because of this difference...just thinking aloud here.
louchem Posted - 31 oct. 2008 : 23:58:58
Thanks for the welcome, gpspassion. I've been a lurker for a while now on the boards and I really enjoy the info shared here. I don't really know too much about the nuts and bolts of these systems, much of what I've learned is from forums like this.

I was under the impression that the eTrex series used a Mediatek chip when I purchased the unit. The whole thing is a bit confusing and I don't know why Garmin doesn't just come out and say definatively.

One of the interesting parts of the whole ordeal is that I was able to update my system software version to 2.8 using the WebUpdater. So, I know the server connection is working but it gives me an error when I try to grab any chipset updates.

Here's the screenshot of my software version page



As you can see it does not show the GPS SW version on this screen as it has with past eTrex units. The only way I could find out the firmware version was through the diagnostics page. I've had users who have older Bravo version 2 varities of the Venture HC post screenshots of their software version page and it shows system software version as well as GPS SW version. So, something is definately different in the newer shipping units.
gpspassion Posted - 31 oct. 2008 : 23:18:53
Which reminds me I forgot to list the 7x0 models under MTK v1, some (all ?) starting in the summer of '08 - done !
SergZak Posted - 31 oct. 2008 : 23:10:46
I think I recall seeing the "Bravo" on my original eTrex Vista (gray-scale unit from years ago) & really don't know what to make of this "Bravo" listing that keeps showing up...maybe it's Garmin-speak for the mainboard/motherboard version? My Vista HCx also has this "Bravo" but it's listed as version 2, unlike that of louchem which is version 3. My HCx's GPS chipset was recently updated to v2.80 (as my nuvi 760 which uses the same MTK chipset) via WebUpdater.
gpspassion Posted - 31 oct. 2008 : 21:06:24
Welcome to the forums.

Interesting, but I don't think we ever really figured out what "Bravo" stood for for sure. Originally we thought it was a Garmin chipset, but it seems to be the STMicro platform not the MTK that's been used (so far) on the eTrex series.

What is the GPS FW version installed on your eTrex ? You can see that in the system settings\about. That's a good way to tell normally.
louchem Posted - 31 oct. 2008 : 16:49:38
I just purchased a Venture HC in the last two weeks and I've come across something interesting. I had a problem updating the firmware on the unit, which you can read about in this Groundspeak topic. After doing some digging on the web I learned how to run the diagnostics on my Venture HC and was surpirsed to see it was running Bravo version 3.

Here's the screenshot



So, I'm wondering if the reason I can't connect to update the firmware is because my unit is not using the same chipset as the past eTrex H series units. Has anyone seen a unit with Bravo version 3 before? I've corresponded a bit with Garmin tech support but I don't know how forthcoming they will be.
gpspassion Posted - 27 oct. 2008 : 10:45:57
Thanks, added to the list, so the the 200 wins as the one with the most platforms ;-)
albaran Posted - 27 oct. 2008 : 10:41:31
my nuvi 200 (FNAC 11/21/2007) has the MTK chipset, updated to 2.80m firmware.
gpspassion Posted - 25 oct. 2008 : 17:44:11
Thanks, yes the Vista HCs for sure, I have one...and I need to update it. So your nuvi 200 is likely running GPS FW v2.80 too, that is if you updated it recently ;-)
SergZak Posted - 25 oct. 2008 : 17:29:46
My nuvi 200 has the MTK v1 GPS FW, same as my newer 760 (dual mic holes in the unit's casing). My older 750 has the SiRFstarIII. I believe my Vista HCx also has the MTK v1 chipset but can't 100% confirm that until after the weekend.
gpspassion Posted - 25 oct. 2008 : 11:58:56
Turns out the nüvi 5000 could be running on the STM Teseo platform based on this report. What GPS FW does your nüvi 200 have SergZak ?
gpspassion Posted - 25 oct. 2008 : 00:27:00
Thanks, yes it always takes longer than you'd think when you get started but it's nice to have it once it's done ;-)

Just realized I forgot the SP550 and nüvi 5000. I'm also wondering if I didn't get it wrong for the nüvi 2x0, most models with the STM Teseo and some unconfirmed with the MTK...will check around.
SergZak Posted - 24 oct. 2008 : 23:53:30
Excellent info gpspassion...thanks for the writeup. It's good to have all this info in one place rather than dispersed through various threads.
gpspassion Posted - 24 oct. 2008 : 21:33:33
Strange indeed, haven't seen it on the 255, the 550 or the Oregon, will keep an eye open for that. Are they both running v2.55 ? Are you able to have both with you to see if they have the same problem concurrently ? Since the GPS module is totally integrated in the STM Cartesio platform, there might be some prioritizing of CPU/Ram resources or a memory leak that cuts off the GPS temporarily.

It's probably best to call their chipset the STM Cartesio as the "bravo" was (probably) the less powerful STM Teseo.
dequardo Posted - 24 oct. 2008 : 21:01:46
Thanks. I've bene wrestling with a vexing problem on (first) a 255 and now a 255W. BOTH will suddenly lose all sta acquistion seemingly at random. This happens many miles and hours into a trip after a full signal. The fact it happened on two different units is very disconcerting. Both run Bravo chips.

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