GPS modules compare signals from several geo-positioning satellites to determine position on the earth's surface. GPS is an acronym for global positioning system. GPS refers to a system of satellites and receivers that allow people and devices to pinpoint their precise location on the earth. The system relies on 24 satellites that orbit the earth twice per day. A GPS chip receives transmissions from a few of the satellites and is able to discern very precise positioning data. Different approaches for building a GPS circuit are used in a GPS receiver. A large number of components are surface mounted onto a printed circuit board (PCB). Connection from the PCB to the display unit is made using a flexible polymeric circuit board. Some parts of the device require shielding from radio waves. Computation of the receiver's location is achieved with an on-board processor. Since GPS was declared fully operational in 1993, GPS chips have become a vital global utility, indispensable for modern navigation on land, sea, and air around the world, as well as an important tool for map-making, and land surveying.

GPS modules consist of a GPS receiver chip and a GPS tracking chip. A GPS receiver chip calculates current position (latitude, longitude, elevation), and the precise time, using the process of trilateration after measuring the distance to at least four satellites by comparing the satellites' coded time signal transmissions. A GPS tracking chip uses GPS to determine the location of a vehicle, person, or pet and to record the position at regular intervals in order to create a track file or log of activities. The track file or log is stored in a GPS data logger from which it can be easily read anytime. GPS cellphone chips are also being constantly developed for modern cellphones which support GPS. A GPS chip manufacturer should always take note of the resolution and accuracy needed by the customer before manufacturing GPS chips. GPS chips are manufactured to meet most industry specifications.

GPS modules are used in many applications. The application of the GPS is very broad, and as the prices come down the number of uses are increasing. Portable GPS devices are used by fisherman and hikers to help them navigate in the wild. Many new cars are being equipped with GPS systems to help drivers with navigation. The military uses GPS to guide cruise missiles to pre-specified targets. GPS modules should adhere to various standards specified by International Standards Organization (ISO) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).