News Item

Cheaper Beidou chips

Receiver chips for Beidou/Compass should become as cheap as those for GPS over the next year.

Chinese industry leaders have said that this would accelerate the satnav system's commercial viability in the country.

Beidou (or Compass) chip prices - hitherto a barrier to commercialising the Chinese GNSS - may undergo several cuts next year, bringing them close to those of GPS, according to Beijing BDStar Navigation.

The Xinhua News Agency reported in 2011 that over 95% of navigation users in China used GPS - but industry experts believe that this would change if Beidou could offer similar precision and its receiver chip prices dropped significantly.

Currently, Beidou receiver chips are several times more expensive than those for GPS.

China launched its 16th Beidou satellite in October. Ultimately, Beidou/Compass will comprise a mixture of 30 MEO and 5 GEO satellites to provide global coverage - scheduled for 2020 - with Asia-Pacific regional cover by the first half of 2013.

Claimed performance (95%) is positioning 10 m, velocity 0.2 m/s and timing 20 ns.

The market for Beidou system services in China is expected to exceed 200 billion yuan (£20, €25, $32 billion) by 2015 and over double that by 2020.

Details from Global Times below . .

  • 19 November 2012
  • R and D

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