NXP Boosts Performance and Power for Garmin’s GPS Cycling Computers—Maximizing the Cycling Experience

NXP Boosts Performance and Power for Garmin’s GPS Cycling Computers—Maximizing the Cycling Experience


Cycling has come a long way in a short burst of time, thanks to Garmin’s innovation in performance GPS cycling technology. Equipping bicycles with an onboard computer, Garmin® has turned bicycling into a dynamic user experience that immerses the rider in a world of personalized performance monitoring and insights.

Garmin’s cycling computers are an intuitive riding partner for all types of riders, ranging from urban cyclist to hard-core performance racer. The Garmin Edge® 530 features a button design and a 2.6-inch high-resolution color display and the Edge 830 offers a touchscreen display that is quick and responsive—even when wet or used with gloves. Both devices offer new ride data and guidance, navigational enhancements, safety and tracking features. They provide customized information for the rider, such as in-ride notifications of when it’s time to hydrate or eat, as well as a tracking metric that compares the intensity of the rider’s effort to previous weeks and months.

The battery life of the Edge 530 and Edge 830 weighs in at an impressive 20 hours with GPS and is extendable to up to 40 hours in battery save mode. That’s a long bike ride for sure, but no matter how long the ride, the peace of mind of a battery with a longer life is something that every rider values.

How is this all made possible?

NXP Shifts the Garmin Bicycle Computer into High Gear

Garmin is opening a path for riders to benefit from the intelligence and ultra-efficient power processing within new i.MX devices enabling much longer battery life, as well as turn-by-turn navigation with smarter mapping capabilities at 2x faster speeds than previous models, so the cyclist can spend more time riding, not waiting around.

Ideal for a portable device that needs a long battery life, NXP’s i.MX 7ULP is a family of applications processors that represent a breakthrough in ultra-low-power and is at the core of the Edge 530 and Edge 830, Garmin’s latest performance GPS cycling computers. The processor achieves the astonishing feat of combining enhanced performance and reduced power consumption, leveraging Fully Depleted Silicon on Insulator (FD-SOI) process technology. This translates into an incredible cycling experience for the rider who reaps the benefits of the i.MX 7ULP processor’s ability to render faster GPS mapping that keeps pace with the road adventurer, while ensuring the device is powered for those long, winding journeys.

Serving as the “brain” of the bicycle computer, the i.MX 7ULP features NXP’s advanced implementation of the Arm® Cortex®-A7 and Cortex-M4 cores, as well as a 3D and 2D graphics processing units (GPUs). The i.MX 7ULP’s heterogeneous domain computing architecture delivers higher performance, processing graphics for the GPS map on the Cortex-A core, while handling other things, such as sensor data, on the Cortex-M core.

The heterogeneous domain computing architecture also makes it possible for the Garmin Edge 530 and Edge 830 to dynamically shift between high- and low-power modes depending on what the rider is doing, while route calculation time and map drawing speeds are accelerated due to improved CPU and system performance and leveraging lower power DDR for a more expansive map data set.

This processing power and high performance are what help make Garmin’s cycling computers versatile and connected devices, further demonstrating the impact of NXP’s IoT innovation that is changing the way people live, work and play.

Just as cycling requires balance, coordination, strength and vision, NXP’s i.MX 7ULP processor combines all of the winning capabilities to make it the perfect riding partner for bicycle computers that are climbing the highest mountains—and bringing out the adventurer in all of us.

Nik Jedrzejewski
Nik Jedrzejewski
Nik leads the eReader and Wearable product and marketing applications processor strategy for NXP within the low power i.MX processor team and is an expert in electronic paper display (EPD) applications. With 18 years of semiconductor experience, Nik was part of the team credited with capturing over 75 percent market share of the Portable Media Player (PMP) market during his 8 year career at SigmaTel. An electrical engineer, Nik has managed hardware platform design and firmware architecture from the aerospace to consumer electronics sectors. Nik holds a BSEE from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. You can follow him on Twitter @nmj55

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