GNSS Chip and Module Unit Shipment to Top 2.2 Billion Units by 2027

Article By : Giorgio Zanella, Techno Systems Research Co. Ltd

Here are the latest developments and trends happening in the GNSS market from a chip and modules perspective.

The global GNSS chip and module market is forecast to reach more than 1,827 million unit in 2021, and more than 2,225 million units shipped by 2027, according to our latest report, 2021 GNSS Chip & Module Market Analysis.

In our analysis, we have breakdown the GNSS market into three main accuracy levels and five main verticals:

  • Consumer mobile, positioning and automotive represent meter and sub-meter precision accuracy (from 2-3m to below 1m)
  • High precision represents centimeter level high precision (up to 10cm ranging precision)
  • Timing measure between 5ns and 20ns clock synchronization

GNSS IC receivers’ most beneficial improvements are:

  • Multi-constellation coverage (GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS, NavIC)
  • Multi-frequency coverage (dual or multi channels simultaneously receiving)

Multi-constellation coverage increasing the availability of GNSS signal, as even more satellites are present in GEO. Multi-frequency minimize TTFX and optimize positioning ranging, and lower power.

Consumer mobile market

Consumer mobile is the highest shipment volume vertical for GNSS. Smartphones have the highest volume in this industry, followed by smartwatches and tablets. Consumer mobile also covers GNSS notebook PCs, GNSS prosumer drones, handheld GNSS devices, and GNSS digital cameras.

From 2018, smartphones have started to introduce GNSS dual-frequency solution in order to provide better navigation solution especially in urban canyons.

In 2021, almost all smartphones could rely on GNSS positioning receiver, with almost the entire market oriented to GNSS integrated into the SoC solution, mainly provided by Qualcomm and Mediatek.

Based on our market report, we forecast that GNSS dual-frequency smartphones will account for about 39% of the total smartphone market by 2027.

The demand for smartwatches has increased considerably during Covid-19 pandemic, especially among sport watches and phone companion smartwatch devices. GNSS standalone chipset is present in the major part of these devices, provided mainly by Broadcom, Sony, and Airoha. Samsung and Wear OS smartwatches have embedded integrated GNSS solutions provided by Samsung and Qualcomm.

In kid, elder, and pet trackers, the majority part of the market have GNSS integrated, provided by Qualcomm and UNISOC. GNSS standalone solution suppliers are TechtoTop, Zhongke Microelectronics, and Goke Microelectronics.

The GNSS smartwatch market is estimate to reach 10.7% of total GNSS consumer market by 2027.

GNSS is present in tablets, mainly in the cellular versions. Tablets have registered an increasing in demand especially for online classes, and for remote working usage during 2020. Tablets dedicated to B2B are likewise registering an increasing demand. In the tablets market, GNSS integrated in SoC or modem are the main solution, with Qualcomm, Mediatek, Intel, Samsung, and Hi-Silicon being the main chip suppliers.

Based on our estimates, the GNSS tablet market will reach 2.3% of total GNSS consumer mobile market by 2027.

Positioning market

The positioning market includes GNSS asset and vehicle trackers, after-market telematics, and marine chart plotters. The main volume is represented by asset (any logistic/industrial tag, livestock trackers, and search and rescue tags) and vehicle trackers (anti-stolen vehicle tracker, OBD, other vehicle tracker) together with after-market telematics. Marine is low in volume, considering only the motorboats and sailboats.

The GNSS tracker market is increasing, especially for asset trackers, for global monitoring of logistic asset flow movements. GNSS trackers mainly adopt GNSS standalone chipsets or modules, mainly provided by u-Blox, ST, TechtoTop, Zhongke Microelectronics, and Allystar, among others. Only a smaller part of GNSS trackers adopt GNSS integrated solution provided by Qualcomm and Mediatek/Airoha, among others.

The positioning market is forecasted to reach 7.9% of total GNSS volume shipment market by 2027.

Automotive market

The automotive industry includes before-market T-box, in-vehicle navigation systems (both before- and after-market), dashcams, GNSS radars, and ADAS with GNSS.

Before-market T-Box is the highest volume shipment, followed by dashcam in-vehicle navigation and ADAS with GNSS.

In automotive, the majority of GNSS solutions are on standalone with a concentration of module solution. Main suppliers are u-Blox, ST, Airoha, Zhongke Microelectronics, TechtoTop, Allystar, Unicore Communications, and Furuno, among others. GNSS integrated solutions are on a growth trend, with Qualcomm and Mediatek as main suppliers.

GNSS in automotive applications is estimated to reach 8% of total GNSS volume shipment market by 2027.

High precision market

GNSS high precision market is high revenue market, as GNSS centimeter level positioning to be achieved needs to high level GNSS receivers and correction services. GNSS high precision industry will take advantage of GNSS multi constellation, and simultaneous multi-frequencies receiving in order to increase signal availability and precision. Advanced ADAS, enterprise drone will need higher precision, however also AGV and robots, GIS & survey, and train management systems will support the growth. GNSS high precision market is dominated by standalone modules, main players are: U-Blox, Trimble, ST, Hexagon-Novatel, Unicore Communications, TechtoTop, among others; only few players like Wuhan Mengxin and Chipcraft are proposing a SoC high precision dedicated GNSS receiver.

By 2027 GNSS high precision market is estimated to remain low in volume if compared with consumer mobile, position or automotive segments, but with a CAGR of 33.6% between 2018 and 2027.

GNSS Timing market

The GNSS timing market is another high revenue market as higher accuracy between 5ns and 20ns is required. GNSS timing market receiver’s main volume application is represented by cellular base station networks’ time synchronization, followed by financial time stamp, and power grid. New 5G networks will require an added accuracy for timing receivers, and for these reasons multi-frequency GNSS receivers will be preferred. Main GNSS timing chip suppliers are u-Blox, ST-Trimble, and TechtoTop, among others.

This vertical is expected to have a constant growth up to 2023, and represent 0.1% of total GNSS volume shipment market by 2027.


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Giorgio Zanella is a market research analyst at TSR (Techno Systems Research Co., Ltd.) and he is focus on ultra wideband (UWB) and GNSS.

TSR is a market research firm based in Japan, and specialized in electronics industry. TSR offers customized, multi-client, and periodical report covering worldwide market.

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