Beidou Expert Song Shiqiang: China will be sure to win the battle between BDS and GPS
"China Chip" has become a hot topic recently, and some Americans are always finding fault with us Chinese. Our two companies Kinghelm and Slkor are catching time to do a good job of "domestic substitution", while a lot of bosses in Huaqiangbei have exploded with rage, on the verge of rushing to the U.S. to scratch on Donald Trump's face. What will happen if China semiconductor battles with America? Kinghelm (www.kinghelm.net) company is engaged in the research, development and sales of Beidou GPS antenna RF connector, and Kinghelm’s general manager Song Shiqiang is also a famous private economist in Shenzhen Huaqiangbei. Here Mr. Song will share his viewpoints on the market application and development prospect of the chips of BDS and GPS.
Song Shiqiang in Huaqiangbei
SiRF, U-blox and Media Tek (MTK) are among the world's leading companies in terms of technology and market share. SiRF, an American company founded in California in 1995, with a growth rate of 300% a year when it reaches the peak, accounting for 70% of global shipments of GPS chips. SIRF was acquired by a British company in 2009 and gradually squeezed out of the Beidou GPS chip market due to the rapid rise of China’s Beidou chip module industry and reduced costs. Founded in 1997, U-blox, a Swiss company, first uses GPS chips from other manufacturers to design and produce modules, and then gradually enters the industry. It is a company that successfully promotes technology research and development in the reverse direction from the market. With stable performance, it firmly occupies the car front loading market and gains a foothold in the handheld device market. U-blox's series of SMD (surface mounted) stamp-hole modules is an industry benchmark that has been imitated but never surpassed, and it has also done well in the last two years with differential modules by others. Media Tek from Taiwan is a rising star in the navigation and positioning industry. With its high cost-effective and one-stop service, MTK has occupied the low-end mobile phone and most of the mobile terminal market. At first, ST microelectronics also dabbled in this area but failed. Broadcom and Qualcomm also reserve related technologies and products, but their focus of products is not here. It should be added that the underlying technology of the Beidou GPS of these companies is the same and can be applied universally.
The BDS /GPS chip is divided into two parts: RF and baseband. The RF chip receives the Beidou GPS satellite signal, and the baseband chip calculates its location based on the received signal to provide relevant information for the navigation and positioning terminal. At that time, due to China’s policy and being boosted by the public opinion and the market, many semiconductor companies took the development of Beidou chip as the direction, and many overseas high-level talents returned to China to start businesses. When Kinghelm first entered the Beidou GPS circle, there were already hundreds of Beidou chip start-up companies at that time.
The national project "Two kinds of buses and CDG vehicles" started in 2011, which is a watershed for Beidou chip industry. "Two kinds of buses and CDG vehicles" refers to touring buses, long-distance buses and vehicles carrying dangerous chemicals. In order to regulate the management of these vehicles and to support the Beidou industry in China, the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Public Security issued a joint document, stipulating that after August 1, 2011, relevant vehicles shall be equipped with Beidou satellite positioning devices (hereinafter referred to as ministerial standard machines) that meet the requirements before the production. In order to ensure the functional quality of the BDS chip module, the Beidou Office organized experts to evaluate more than 30 shortlisted Beidou chip companies. This is a big reshuffling after the disorderly development and fierce competition among the chip companies.
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At that time, there were five Beidou chip companies that had passed the certification of "Two kinds of buses and CDG vehicles". Their current situation is as follows:
I. Xi’an Huaxun Technology Co., Ltd.
Mr. Zhou Wenyi, the founder and current general manager of Xi'an Huaxun Technology Co., Ltd., is a doctor studying in America. Huaxun is the first enterprise to successfully manufacture GPS navigation chips in China, and the stability of Huaxun Beidou modules has a good reputation in the industry. After the acquisition by CASIC (China Aerospace Science & Industry Corp), Huaxun have taken good advantage of the resources of CASIC and are developing excellently now. With the help of its partner, Shenzhen Kinghelm Electronics Co., Ltd.(www.kinghelm.net), Huaxun has successfully entered several automotive front-loading markets. Huaxun's main products are Beidou baseband chip modules, Judicial Correction terminals, and so on.
II. Techtotop Microelectronics Co., Ltd.
Established in March, 2008, Techtotop Microelectronics Co., Ltd has participated in the formulation of a number of national standards related to Beidou chip modules, and the headquarter of Techtotop has now moved from Dongguan to Guangzhou. According to the data, in October 2011, the sales of baseband chips of Techtotop exceeded 40000 PCS. In March 2012, Techtotop won the exclusive bid for the first Beidou national demonstration application project "Two kinds of buses and CDG vehicles" in China. Driven by the general trend of the first wave of Beidou industry, Techtotop made a lot of money. In 2016, Techtotop became the largest supplier of Mobike’s positioning and navigation chips. However, as there are too many variables of bike sharing project, Techtotop has also faced big challenges in aspects of inventory and supply chain. In terms of market, Techtotop is undoubtedly the most successful, but the total amount of the Beidou industry is too small at present. The main products of Techtotop are Beidou chips, modules, tuners, etc.
III. Hangzhou Zhongke Microelectronics Co., Ltd.
Hangzhou Zhongke Microelectronics Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Zhongke has accumulated lots of product experience and customers in the early development of 2.4G RF chips. I often see Yin Min, general manager of Zhongke, carrying a backpack to visit customers, and chief scientist Li Xiaojiang bargaining with customers for the price difference of a dime or two. In this case, is this the luck for Zhongke or the hurt for Beidou chips? Thanks to the support and real subsidies from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the price of Zhongke’s products is competitive, and its product iteration is also quite good.
IV. Beijing Olinkstar Technology Co., Ltd.
Beijing Olinkstar Technology Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of North Electronics Research Institute, has developed and produced Beidou navigation and RTK high-precision positioning modules and put them into the market. In 2016, Olinkstar was acquired by Lingyun Shares, a subsidiary of China North Industries Group, and from then on the product direction of Olinkstar basically changed from civil consumer to military industry. Lan Bin, general manager of Olinkstar, introduces that Olinkstar has made a deep cooperation with Huawei, such as the development of the mobile phone chip Beidou navigation module IP, which is applied in Huawei Honor mobile phones, and the shipment is very good. The main products of Olinkstar are sold within China North Industries Group.
V. Unicorecomm Technology Co., Ltd.
Unicorecomm Technology Co., Ltd. is a company specializing in high-performance satellite positioning and multi-source fusion core algorithm, high integration chip research and development. The founder, Dr. Han Shaowei, was selected as one of the "Zhongguancun High-end Leading Talents" in 2010. Later, Unicorecomm has been acquired by BDStar Navigation Co., Ltd., so Dr. Han Shaowei left Unicorecomm and established Wuhan Mengxin Technology Co., Ltd. with related units in Wuhan jointly, which is still engaged in the research and development of Beidou chips. The products of Unicorecomm are now mainly sold inside the military system, which is now called internal circulation.
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After being squeezed by the "narrow door effect" of the project "Two kinds of buses and CDG vehicles", the above five companies also took advantage of this opportunity to step up, while the rest of many Beidou chip design manufacturers were basically eliminated from the Beidou market, such as Chongqing Southwest Integrated Circuit Company (belonging to the 24th institute), North China Integrated Circuit Company, Guangzhou Runxin Technology, Wuhan Mengxin Technology, Haotai Technology Shares and so on. Spreadtrum has also engaged in Beidou, GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chips.
"Some people resigned and returned to their hometown, while some were eager to attend the imperial examination." With its strong strengths and expectations for the market, ALLYSTAR, a subsidiary of China Electronics Group, joined the Beidou chip group in the past two years. Led by Sun Zhongliang, son of the academician Sun Jiadong who was called “the father of Beidou”, ALLYSTAR has made breakthroughs of its products in the aspects of low power consumption and small size. We hope their products can pass the verification of market. With its background of NUDT, Changsha Guokemicro is also eager to have a try.
Song Shiqiang from Kinghelm (www.kinghelm.net) will introduce to you the enterprises that use Beidou chip and Beidou GPS antenna products, which are well used in the project "Two kinds of buses and CDG vehicles" :
I. Huabao Electronics Co., Ltd.
Huabao Electronics has made close and seamless cooperation with Techtotop, and found the first bucket of gold in the project "Two kinds of buses and CDG vehicles". Now Huabao has achieved the explosive development and a diversified layout under the leadership of the general manager Zhuang Shaohua.
II. Yuwei Technology Co., Ltd.
Yuwei's technology and quality has a good reputation in the whole industry, and it is the company with the best technical reserves in the Beidou industry. Under the leadership of general manager Xu Zhong, Youwei's hardware products and solutions are getting better and better.
III. Boshijie Technology Co.,Ltd.
Boshijie’s shipments rank No.1 in the industry, and its team basically comes from Lianheanye Co., Ltd.. The founder Zhou Xiaoqiang is pragmatic and hardworking, with keen market insight and adaptability. He has stepped on the project "Two kinds of buses and CDG vehicles" covering ministry standard machine and positioning tracker, which ushered in the outbreak of the industry due to the layout in advance.
IV. Unistrong Technology Co.,Ltd.
Unistrong is a successful example of the industry brand and capital operation, whether Yao Ming becomes a shareholder or the acquisition of Begonia Communication, they are worthy of praise, of course, the products are very good.
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The previous article reviewed the current situation of the Beidou chip and module industry, which has a market capacity of about 500 million. This is a gradually competitive market, and there will be no firewall and moat without national policies and subsidies. After the standardization and consistency of the Beidou GPS module is completed, the unbalanced market is rapidly transitioning to the balanced market, and what we encounter is a fierce fight. At the end of the market showdown, Yin Min, Li Xiaojiang and other senior executives of state-owned enterprises were completely defeated by the businessmen in Huaqiangbei.
In the military or government market of Beidou industry, most orders are transferred in the aerospace, aviation and weaponry sectors within the system, and private enterprises have almost no opportunity. There are few companies make a profit by means of products, unless an excellent technology is incorporated by them (such as Shenzhen Huaxin Antenna) or acquired by a listed company to perform the capital operation (such as Guangzhou Yicheng).
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As for the development space of BDS industry chain in the future, the Beidou navigation and positioning chip consumer market is about 100 billion yuan every year, such as mobile phones and mobile wearable terminals, which are also the main battlefield for the duel between BDS and GPS. As Beidouand GPS are interconnected in the basic civil underlying protocol of RF and microwave technology, Broadcom, Qualcomm, and MTK have integrated Beidou navigation and positioning functions into their main chips. Huawei Hisilicon Kirin, SpreadTrum and other main chips in China have a certain gap in power consumption, positioning accuracy, size and other aspects, but they are gradually catching up. We Chinese have the habit of concentrating our strength to do great things, and we will soon surpass the foreign companies in this way!
Beidou is of great importance to China, and the healthy development of Beidou industry will contribute to the rejuvenation and take-off of Chinese nation. Compared with the American GPS system, the Chinese BDS system starts late and is weaker. From another perspective, an comparative disadvantage can also be turned into an advantage of backwardness, one can bypass the twists and turns that rivals have waded through, learn from the experience of domestic and foreign peers, and apply the most advanced technology to Beidou's new products. China is approaching a great turning point in its history, with the world's largest consumer market, which can directly and effectively drive the development and upgrade of Beidou application technology. The grand plan of "Smart Manufacturing 2025" is being methodically promoted, and China is the key node of the whole industrial chain of the upgraded version of "World Factory". With the support and interference of many professionals and even the businessmen in Huaqiangbei, Beidou BDS will surely become the best navigation and positioning system on Earth, besides the world's best Beidou chip and module enterprises will appear in China, and Beidou investors will certainly make a fortune. In those days, I sold a few houses to engage in the Beidou GPS antenna RF signal connectors in order to earn some money!
I haven't written an article for a long time, because I worry about all of you will forget our WeChat official account "Beidou Expert" of Kinghelm. Another reason is that the proposition propaganda for Beidou is not as positive as before, I will continue to make efforts to the development of the Beidou industry!
Brief introduction of the author
On top of being a private economic researcher of the Economic Development Center of the China State Council, Song Shiqiang is also a member of the electronic information expert database of China Association for Science and Technology, and a commercial research expert of Huaqiangbei. Mr. Song was the former CEO of an international real estate listed company. He has invested and managed a list of companies such as Shenzhen SlkorMicro Semicon Co., Ltd. and Shenzhen Kinghelm Electronics Co., Ltd., building the "Slkor" and "Kinghelm" brands. Both "Slkor" and "Kinghelm" are Chinese national high-tech companies and have obtained dozens of invention patents and software copyrights. In addition, Slkor is one of the fastest-growing semiconductor companies in China, and its vision is to become "the leader of China’s semiconductor industry".
"Kinghelm Connecting Beidou" is the slogan of Kinghelm company. Starts from the development of Beidou antenna, Kinghelm has now developed and produced microwave antenna, RF cables and electrical signal connector and other products, embracing the intelligent era for Internet of Everything. Song Shiqiang has a wide reputation and influence in the semiconductor, Beidou positioning and navigation industry. As one of the renowned business leaders in Huaqiangbei Commercial Area of Shenzhen, Mr. Song is paying his best efforts to improve the business environment, hoping that Huaqiangbei will become a catalyst for reform and opening of Shenzhen's economic development.
Song Shiqiang, general manager of Kinghelm and Slkor
Shenzhen Kinghelm Electronics Co., Ltd., a national hi-tech enterprise, is a member of "GNSS and LBS Association of China", "China Information Industry Chamber of Commerce" and "Guangdong Connector Association". It has, moreover, obtained many patents and software copyrights pertaining to the Beidou brand. Kinghelm specializes in the technology research, product design and manufacturing and sales service of microwave RF signal transceiver, micro electronic connector and interconnection system products. Kinghelm’s technical team is from Tsinghua University, UESTC and expatriates with R&D capability of high-quality and high-performance products. Kinghelm has obtained ISO9001 management system certification, and IATF16949 automobile quality system certification, UL, TUV, RoHS, REACH certification are in the application.
Kinghelm’s brand products KH series include Beidou GPS antenna, RF connector, electrical data signal connector, terminal, plug-in unit and the three categories: customized automobile and motorcycle wiring harness, industrial medical connector as well as military special antenna connector. "Kinghelm connects Beidou", it’s the slogan of the company and Kinghelm grows with the development of Beidou. Kinghelm begins with providing Beidou GPS dual-mode antenna, IPEX terminal and RF connector for auto factories involved in the national project "Two kinds of buses and CDG vehicles", and its product categories have expanded a lot, such as series antennas for WiFi, Bluetooth, NB-IoT, LORA, Zigbee, UWB and GSM communication antenna, RFID tag, RF patch cord, GJB RF connector, microwave antenna, auto SMA and SMB, FAKRA RF connector, and coaxial cable.
Kinghelm has a manufacturing base with automatic production lines, which is located in Tangxia, Dongguan. The manufacturing base is equipped with automatic wire-cutting machine, terminal machine, dispenser, cable assembly machine and other equipment, experienced engineer team and well-trained workers can complete mass product delivery on time with quality and quantity guaranteed. In addition, Kinghelm has a complete range of these testing instruments, such as microwave full-wave anechoic room, network analyzer, high-speed oscilloscope, salt fog testing machine, high and low temperature testing cabinet, which are capable of the debugging of high and low temperature, double 85 test and intelligent hardware antenna signal. Kinghelm added all kinds of connectors such as data electrical signal transmission connector, precision connector, connector terminal, including board end, wire end, micro terminal, wire to board, wire to wire, board to board and Insulation displacement connector. Besides, there are SIM socket, USB C, Type-C, HDMI, RJ45 interface, plug-in unit, PCB board connection terminal, pin header, female header, plug and unplug parts, thimble spring, crimping terminal, etc.
Kinghelm undertakes the customization of non-standard ceramic antenna, signal amplifier board and cable. Moreover Kinghelm has provided navigation and positioning antennas and wire harness for automobiles and motorcycles, and dust-proof, waterproof and explosion-proof connectors for industrial medical customers. As a private high-tech enterprise, Kinghelm actively participates in the "civil-military integration". In addition, Kinghelm launched Beidou B3 RF military antenna and special connector, which have been awarded by the superior for their high quality and excellent guarantee. And Kinghelm's "Three Military Certificate" qualification is in the application!
The products" of Kinghelm are applied to many fields such as high-speed railway, new energy vehicle, wireless intelligent terminal, IoT, IoV, smart city, smart home, industrial equipment, industrial Internet, scientific research, military and national defense and other fields. Adhering to the corporate culture of "integrity, progress, tenacity and detail" and the corporate ethics of "Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you", under the leadership of Mr. Song Shiqiang, Kinghelm takes root in the Beidou industry and contributes to the development of the society and the prosperity of the China!
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