NavIC chips may become must for auto makers

NEW DELHI: The government is planning to mandate chips embedded with ISRO’s NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) GPS solution for the automotive industry, giving precedence to India-made systems and designs, minister of state for IT & electronics Rajeev Chandrasekhar has said.
Accord Software Systems, a local startup, has incorporated NavIC in the design of its integrated circuit which is being used to produce a 28 nanometer chip that is now being sold to companies in the Indian automotive sector.
Accord is the first local company to design NavIC-incorporated chips in India.
“The India-designed chips with NavIC are being made by GlobalFoundries at its units abroad, and Accord has given orders for production of one million units so far.
We certainly feel that since there is an India-designed chip which is available now, there are certainly sufficient reasons for the government to mandate that the trackers in India be NavIC powered. This is very much in our scheme of things,” Chandrasekhar said.
He said NavIC is a GPS solution that is one of the most suitable for India, and thus should be used by automotive and electronics companies as they work on new products.
“Currently, there are 7-8 satellites which power NavIC’s solutions. In terms of footprint, NavIC is optimised in & around India and the Indian ocean region. As we go, NavIC may use 10-12 satellites for coverage and get optimised for the world.”
Chandrasekhar said India has the largest connected internet-consuming population in the world today. “This itself is significant that a GPS system that caters only to India powers the devices for cars that cater to the market.”
When asked whether Accord can build sufficient scale to cater to the automotive market which produces millions of vehicles, he said the company can licence its technology to other players.
“If it takes off and NavIC becomes a standard, then Accord may licence the chips and variants of the chip to other companies.”
The minister also said that the government wants to follow the same formula when it comes to chips meant for mobile phones, wherein it wants to mandate NavIC (which has been incorporated into Apple’s latest iPhone15 smartphones meant for the Indian market).
“It is very-much conceivable if there is a second round of production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for mobile phones.”


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