ISRO’s big achievement! Qualcomm chips to enable Indian GPS system NavIC in new phones

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Published: January 22, 2020 7:54 PM

The Indian version of GPS, facilitated by Navigation with Indian Constellation or NavIC, is reportedly at par with the US, Russia and Europe’s GPS versions.

NavIC, ISRO, Indian GPS version, Smartphone with Indian GPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon launch, Snapdragon 720G, 662, 460, 4G chipsets, NavIC-enabled Xiaomi, NavIC-enabled RealmeThe new 4G chipsets, known as Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, 662 and 460, were released on Tuesday

ISRO’s navigation system: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has said that it held a consultation with US chipmaker Qualcomm on enabling the Indian version of GPS in their Snapdragon mobile chipsets. The Indian version of GPS is facilitated by the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), also known as Navigation with Indian Constellation or NavIC. The system is reportedly at par with the US, Russia and Europe’s GPS versions.

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The new 4G chipsets, known as Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, 662 and 460, were released on Tuesday. They are the first system-on-chip solutions which are NavIC enabled. With this release, according to ISRO, the adoption of NavIC by smartphone makers would be accelerated.

The manufacturers of smartphones would now be able to release new models in India which would be enabled with NavIC, making it a standard feature in the handsets, processors and applications to be released in the near future. This would also further improve the geolocation capabilities of smartphones within the purview of NavIC coverage, the agency said. It would also bring indigenous solutions to India-based customers on a day-to-day basis, ISRO added.

The new chipsets will enhance user experience in terms of connectivity, entertainment and gaming. They will have key WiFi 6 features, come equipped with integrated Bluetooth 5.1, enable fast 4G connectivity, have advanced audio and support Dual-Frequency GNSS for improving accuracy in location positioning and robustness. The chipsets will now be sent to various smartphone handset manufacturers. Based on these chipsets, Chinese smartphone makers Realme and Xiaomi will soon roll out devices having NavIC capabilities.

During the launch of the chipsets, Qualcomm India VP and President Rajen Vagadia said that despite a trend of adoption of the 5G technology across the globe, 4G has given a ‘phenomenal’ boost to the broadband connectivity in the Indian market and hence, it would stay relevant for some time. He further said that 5G-enabled phones should be penetrating the Indian market in the first half of the year.

Regardless of when the 5G technology reaches the Indian customers, ISRO has been able to unlock a major achievement with indigenous GPS-enabled chipsets having been released in the market.

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