India’s NavIC will now support in‘Made in India’ chipsets

Sep 30: For the first time, the chipsets or microchips that are capable of receiving and processing the signals of the indigenous navigational system NavIC will be designed and manufactured in India by an Indian company.

NavIC is a satellite-based navigational system, developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which enables users to determine their precise geographic location and track their movements anywhere in India and 1500 km beyond India’s territorial boundary.

Not all smartphones and navigational gadgets (or navigators) are compatible with NavIC. To use and decode NavIC signals, a navigating gadget should have a NavIC-compatible chipset or microchip incorporated inside it. The receivers of NavIC signals such as NavIC-compatible smartphones and other navigators, typically incorporate these chipsets or microchips which are designed to decode and process the signals coming from the seven Indian satellites. Currently, they have been using chipsets made by foreign companies such as Qualcomm Technologies of USA and Mediatek Inc. of Taiwan. 

Ministry of Science & Technology and the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, the two ministries of the Government of India, are jointly collaborating with a Hyderabad-based firm, – Manjeera Digital Systems Private Limited, to facilitate the designing and commercial production of these chips in India. The company has designed a baseband processor chip that uses an indigenously developed Universal Multifunctional Accelerator (UMA) processor IP, which has the ability to receive, read and process the NavIC signals. These chipsets will soon go into large-scale commercial production.

Manjeera Digital Systems is a fabless semiconductor company with a patented High-Performance Computing (HPC) processor called UMA. This home-grown product enables navigation as well as tracking and can be used for both commercial and civilian purposes. In the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, the initiative is supported by the Technology Development Board.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat has been the guiding force behind such initiatives of indigenously producing state-of-the-art technologies. The initiative is not only a testament to the indigenization of state-of-the-art technologies but also a morale booster for public-private partnerships in the country.

Minister of State for Science and Technology Dr Jitendra Singh, as the visionary leader at the helm of the Department of Science & Technology, is playing a pivotal role in driving the development of this groundbreaking indigenous Chipset technology. His unwavering commitment to self-reliance in space technology and fostering innovations in IT is not only facilitating this remarkable initiative but also underscoring the crucial role of government support in advancing space technology for the benefit of society. The minister’s leadership and dedication stand as a testament to the transformative potential of collaboration between the government and the private sector in advancing technological breakthroughs.

NavIC, or the Navigation with Indian Constellation, is a magnificent gem in the crown of India’s technological prowess. With celestial grace and precision, NavIC illuminates our skies and will soon guide travellers and explorers with unwavering accuracy. It comprises a constellation of seven satellites orbiting high above, weaving a celestial tapestry of signals that empower navigation, positioning and timing across the vast Indian subcontinent and beyond. NavIC system primarily uses IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) signals for navigation and positioning. These signals are transmitted by a constellation of satellites in geostationary and geosynchronous orbits. NavIC is like GPS in its functioning and operational principles. The only difference is that GPS is owned and operated by the United States government while NavIC is owned and operated by India. NavIC covers all of the Indian subcontinent and offers a positional accuracy of 5 mtrs compared to 15-20 mtrs of GPS.

NavIC is India’s beacon of self-reliance, shining brightly in the world of satellite navigation, and now the indigenously built NavIC-enabled chipsets will make it a truly ‘Made in India’ marvel.

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