ISRO, Xiaomi in advanced talks over NaVIC chipsets

ISRO and Xiaomi are in talks on the provision of chipsets, being manufactured by Qualcomm, that can support NaVIC, the Indian version of GPS.
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The Indian Space Research Organisation and Chinese mobile manufacturer Xiaomi are in advanced talks on the provision of chipsets that can support NaVIC, the Indian version of Global Positioning System (GPS), an official revealed.

The NavIC-friendly chipset, being manufactured by the US chip manufacturer Qualcomm, is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1,500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area, the ISRO has stated earlier.

"Qualcomm has announced that its chip is going to have NaVIC and they are releasing it. Now, almost Xiaomi is in agreement to have it. Xiaomi may launch its mobile phones with NavIC chipsets," the ISRO official said.

NavIC is the abbreviation of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). According to the ISRO, the IRNSS was developed for terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, and integration with mobile phones.

It would provide Standard Positioning Service (SPS) to all users and Restricted Service (RS), which is an encrypted service for only authorised users.

The IRNSS is expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 metres in the primary service area.

The ISRO official said the international body 3GPP has formally approved usage of NavIC, allowing the ISRO to collaborate with Qualcomm.

Earlier in December, ISRO successfully injected into orbit the country's remote imaging earth observation satellite RISAT-2BR1, along with nine other foreign commercial satellites.

The 44.4-metre tall PSLV lifted off majestically with a thunderous sound, leaving plumes of smoke behind, from the first launch pad at the spaceport here at 3.25 pm.

RISAT-2BR1 was placed into orbit around 16 minutes after the lift-off, while the remaining satellites were released into their respective orbits about five minutes later.

ISRO Chairman K Sivan and other scientists greeted each other as all 10 satellites were injected into the desired orbits.

Later, speaking from the Mission Control Centre, Sivan said today's mission was a 'historic' one, coinciding with PSLV's 50th flight. "ISRO has made a historic mission... I am extremely happy to declare that the 50th PSLV vehicle successfully injected RISAT-2BR1 precisely into the 576-km orbit," he said

RISAT BR1 was a "complex" satellite but was built in a short time, he added, lauding the team behind the effort. Terming the mission a great success, he recalled and acknowledged the contribution of "exemplary leaders" like Dr Srinivasan, Dr Madhavan Nair, and others, from the conceptualising-configuration stage to date.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)


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