Qualcomm to use ISRO's NavIC navigation system for vehicles

American chipmaker Qualcomm Technologies, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has announced support for India’s Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC), in select chipset platforms across the company’s upcoming portfolio.

The company says the initiative will help accelerate the adoption of NavIC and enhance the geolocation capabilities of mobile, automotive and the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in the country, which will be done with the backing of engineering talent in India. The collaboration delivered the first-ever NavIC demonstration using the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platforms on September 19 and are scheduled to showcase the solution again at India Mobile Congress, New Delhi, and will be held from October 14-16.

As part of the updated platforms, the Qualcomm Location Suite now supports up to seven satellite constellations concurrently, including the use of all of NavIC’s operating satellites for more accurate location performance, faster time-to-first-fix (TTFF) position acquisition, and improved robustness of location-based services. These enhancements will enable select mobile, automotive and IoT platforms to better serve key industries and technology ecosystems in the region and will help improve user experience for location-based applications especially in dense urban environments where geolocation accuracy tends to degrade.

Durga Malladi, senior vice-president and general manager, 4G/5G, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc, said: “We’re pleased to enhance our commitment to India by enabling support for NavIC in our chipset platforms and continuing our work with ISRO to accelerate NavIC’s adoption. This collaboration is the result of our long-standing presence and investments in the region, including a substantive local engineering force and ongoing initiatives aimed at empowering India’s technology and innovation ecosystems, such as the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge and Qualcomm Innovation Lab. We look forward to seeing India continue to leverage next-generation mobile technologies and applications for new economic growth and societal benefits across its industries and communities.”

Rajen Vagadia, vice-president, Qualcomm India said: “We’ve been at the forefront of introducing the latest technology inventions and solutions, which our industry partners harvest to bring their own innovative products to market. Our technological breakthroughs and extensive engineering support have helped a robust mobile ecosystem to thrive in India and are enabling development of cutting-edge technology and new use cases. We are pleased to be working with ISRO in bringing NavIC to Indian consumers and enhance their navigation experience via high accuracy and greater reliability.”

Dr K Sivan, Chairman, ISRO and Secretary, Department of Space said: “NavIC is a critical step forward in our pursuit of harnessing space technology for national development and we are eager to make it accessible to everyone for their day to day use. ISRO is very happy to be working with Qualcomm Technologies to enable NavIC on Mobile platforms. Qualcomm Technologies’ leadership and support for NavIC on their mobile platforms will bring the benefits of this indigenous solution to every Indian. ISRO appreciates Qualcomm Technologies for enabling the technology demonstration of NavIC support on the mobile platform for the very first time.”

Support for NavIC will be available in select Qualcomm Technologies’ chipset platforms starting in late-2019 and commercial devices with NavIC support are expected to be available during the first half of 2020. Qualcomm Technologies and ISRO are scheduled to demonstrate NavIC support in the Snapdragon Mobile Platforms at India Mobile Congress.

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