In a significant stride towards advancing India's space technology, Qualcomm Technologies and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have announced that would be developing and testing select chipset platforms supporting NavIC L1 signals. The collaborative initiative aims to accelerate the adoption of NavIC, enhancing the geo-location capabilities of mobile devices, automotive systems, and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions across the region.
Qualcomm Technologies announced support for Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) in select chipset platforms of the company in the year 2019. “The solution is built on Qualcomm Technologies’ leading foundational inventions in location-based position technology. Qualcomm® Location Suite now supports up to seven satellite constellations concurrently, including the use of all of NavIC’s L1 and L5 signals for more accurate location performance, faster time-to-first-fix (TTFF) position acquisition, and further improved robustness of location-based services,” said a statement from Qualcomm.
Manish Saxena, Director of the Satellite Navigation Programme Office at ISRO Headquarters, expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration. He stated, "NavIC is a significant step towards using space technology for national development. ISRO is proud to see the increasing adoption of NavIC and is eager to bring the benefits of this indigenous solution to all users."
The NavIC L1 signals, which have undergone successful testing, mark a critical milestone in improving the performance of location-based services in the consumer segment. The collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies enables the integration of NavIC L1 on its upcoming mobile platforms, paving the way for widespread adoption.
Saxena highlighted the importance of the L1 signals, stating, "The L1 signals will be a critical next step by enabling better performance of location-based services in the consumer segment. ISRO appreciates Qualcomm Technologies for enabling NavIC L1 on its upcoming mobile platforms, thereby accelerating its adoption.”
What is ISRO NavIC?
NavIC, short for Navigation with Indian Constellation, is an independent regional navigation satellite system developed by ISRO. The system aims to provide accurate position information over India and the surrounding region, covering a radius of approximately 1,500 kilometers. The successful integration of NavIC L1 signals into Qualcomm's chipset platforms is expected to significantly enhance the reliability and accuracy of location-based services. The NavIC L1 signal design incorporates indigenous spreading code, modulation schemes, and other signal structure elements, reinforcing the Government of India's initiative of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India).
Future Roadmap for ISRO NavIC and Qualcomm Technologies
Additional support for the NavIC L1 signals will be available in select Qualcomm Technologies’ chipset platforms starting in the second half of 2024, and commercial devices supporting the NavIC L1 signals are expected to be available during the first half of 2025. Qualcomm Technologies is scheduled to demonstrate support for the newly launched NavIC L1 signals in the Snapdragon Mobile Platforms at its Qualcomm Innovation Forum event in Bengaluru mid-December 2023.