Elena Geo Systems, a Bengaluru-based space startup incubated in IIT-Kharagpur, has unveiled an indigenously designed NavIC chip that can use India’s own navigation satellite system to provide positioning services. The chip can have applications in civilian and defence sectors.
The chip was delivered to Gen. Anil Chauhan, Chief of the Defence Staff on 13 April 2023. Dr. Samir V. Kamat, Chairman of DRDO and also an Alumnus of IIT Kharagpur and Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Air Staff also graced the occasion with their presence.
An Indian-designed NavIC chip with potential in both the civilian and defence sectors introduced by a Bengaluru-based space technology business, can utilize India’s own navigation satellite system to deliver location services. This will enable high precision and accuracy for all the three types of applications such as navigation, positioning and timing, making India self-reliant in this domain. The company has been pursuing advanced technologies to manufacture these chips and modules, some of which have been supplied to the Indian Army and some private entities. Elena Geo Systems was incubated at IIT-Kharagpur in 2012 and is now a member of the Delhi-based Indian Space Association.
“We are thrilled to present India’s first fully designed and developed NavIC chip. As India moves ahead with its space policy, we feel this is an opportune time to use a truly Indian product. The processor will give India a huge edge as both the government and private sector can move away from their dependence on the American Global Positioning System (GPS). Elena is in the process of patenting the technology and the product, which has been developed by our dedicated R&D team,” said Lt Col VS Velan, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Elena Geo Systems on the sidelines of the Indian DefSpace Symposium organised by the Indian Space Association.
The 12-nanometer chip may be inserted into any handheld device including mobile phones, and can receive signals from the US Global Positioning System, the Russian GLONASS Constellation, and the Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) or Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).
The chip has many cores that serve the requirements of signal acquisition, regeneration, processing and the output interface and hence, it has been named as the NavIC processor. The multi-frequency and multi-constellation chip/processor, created especially for NavIC, is small and simple to integrate into any GNSS circuit and offers the user continuous coverage and high-accuracy reception.
“Elena’s chip complies with the specifications established by the Indian Space Research Agency for IRNSS/NavIC signal reception because it is based on a unique algorithm designed for use throughout India and surrounding regions/countries,” added Velan.
The military grade chip can be used in a wide range of operational logistics applications for ships, submarines, radars, drones, artillery systems, and weapons platforms can make use of this military-grade chip. To guarantee a consistent supply of the NavIC chip, Elena Geo Systems got a contract with a chip manufacturer in Taiwan.
“The chip has many cores that service the requirements of signal acquisition, regeneration, processing and the output interface and hence it has been named the NavIC processor. This will enable high precision and accuracy for all the three types of applications such as navigation, positioning and timing, providing India much needed Atma Nirbharata in this domain,” remarked Velan.
The NavIC chip is appropriate for usage in mobiles, handheld devices, and wearables with applications ranging from tracking school buses to armament systems thanks to its small size, ultra-low power requirement, and software-based control. The multi-frequency and multi-constellation GNSS chip/processor, developed specifically for NavIC, is compact and easy to integrate into any GNSS circuit and provides continuous coverage and high accuracy reception to the user. Based on a special algorithm for use across India and neighboring countries, the Elena’s chip conforms to the requirements laid down by ISRO for IRNSS/NavIC signal reception.
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