Microchip Technology Inc., a microcontroller-based design solutions provider, unveiled a Machine-to-Machine (M2M) PICtail™ Daughter Board that comes with all of the hardware, wireless-communication protocols and application-code examples needed to help designers jump start their fleet-management or real-time location-based service application with GPS, GSM, and GPRS mobile technologies. Developed with u-blox, the new Daughter Board includes the u-blox NEO-6Q GPS and LEON GSM/GPRS modules, and interfaces with Microchip’s Multimedia Expansion Board, and PIC32 Starter Kit. The board enables the quick and easy creation of designs offering wireless communications, as well as a complete graphics interface, with audio, accelerometer and networking capabilities to vehicles.

GPS/GSM/GPRS Wireless Communication System for Vehicle Tracking and Fleet ManagementMany automotive developers wish to add location awareness and communications to their designs, such as those involving fleet management, monitoring traffic congestion and observing driving habits for insurance-rate structures. In addition to integrated GPS for tracking via satellites, the M2M PICtail Daughter Board comes with Global System for Mobile (GSM) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) technology to enable phone, text, e-mail and Web communications, including images and location information. Microchip also offers free-for-download M2M software libraries, to give developers a head start on their coding efforts and reduce time to market.

“The M2M PICtail Daughter Board provides developers with an easy-to-use, economical platform for the development of fleet-management, asset-tracking and telematic applications, among others,” said Sumit Mitra, vice president of Microchip’s High-Performance Microcontroller Division. “Together with our Multimedia Expansion Board and PIC32 Starter Kit, Microchip provides a flexible solution that enables customers to get to market sooner.”

Thomas Nigg, vice president of product marketing at u-blox, said, “As a leading provider of embedded GPS and wireless communications technology in the market for telematics applications, we are pleased that Microchip has chosen to partner with us to develop the M2M PICtail solution. With this platform, our customers can drastically cut their development time and bring their products to market more quickly.”

Automotive wireless communication system designers can simply purchase the Daughter Board to add GPS/GSM/GPRS functionality to their designs. For further information, visit Microchip’s Web site at http://www.microchip.com/