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Merchant embedded board market recovering

September 20, 2012

colin.holland-September 20, 2012

Total revenue in the merchant embedded computing (MEC) market was just under $5 billion in 2010, a 4 percent increase from 2009  according to new market research.  The MEC industry recovered at about 6 percent in 2011 to around $5.3 billion.  

The Merchant Embedded Computing Market - 2012 Edition report analyzes the performance of the industry from 2003 - 2016. It
targets five specific application markets: Communications, Industrial, Medical, Military/Aerospace and an Other category that includes transportation, security, surveillance, point-of-sale/kiosk applications, etc. The Communication wireless segment is being driven by the exploding smart phone and tablet traffic and the four billion devices connected to the internet.

The report says 3G/4G services are where the money is for carriers going forward and the wireline and optical networks are gearing up for upgrades to support the ever increasing traffic.

The industrial market particularly suffered from the financial crisis but investment in capital equipment infrastructure as well as test & measurement has returned. The automotive sector has seen renewed growth.  

The Medical segment was hit hard by the healthcare cutbacks which made purchasing MEC-based, large equipment much more difficult.

The usually healthy military/aerospace segment is now facing a rapidly declining defense department budget in the USA. Counter to this, the military is trying to use more and more electronics for the Internet enabled soldier and robotic weapons.Each architecture has a different rate of adoption depending on the needs of individual application segments.  

Key trends are see 28- and 32-nm silicon for microprocessors, graphics, DSPs and high integration I/O chips packing in processing power while reducing power consumption.

High integration silicon and serial buses enable more small form factors (SFF) than in the past and are making many older, parallel bus structures look dated and busses proliferate around the major and long established busses but the number of variances is past 100.  

The MEC industry can be segmented into four form functions defined as: single-board computers (SBC), digital signal processor (DSP) boards, I/O boards and an 'All Other' category that incorporates a huge number of diverse and specific functions.

In some applications I/O boards are proliferating and are customized to the wide spectrum of I/O functions that different applications use. In other applications, single-board computers are becoming the trend as they incorporate more and more functionality with advanced silicon and draw in DSP, graphics and many advanced I/O functions.  

For more information on the report click here.

 

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