Android, Linux OSes top 2013 survey

February 27, 2013

peter.clarke-February 27, 2013

NUREMBERG, Germany--Android has become the most popular third-party operating system for embedded applications according to a market study conducted by UBM Tech, the publisher of Embedded.com and EE Times. However, if all distributions of Linux are added together, including Ubuntu, they all collectively still top Android.

David Blaza, vice president of electronics at UBM Tech, and Alex Wolfe, editor-in-chief of Embedded.com and EE Times, provided a preview of the results of the study to embedded electronics executives attending the Embedded World exhibition here.

Android has been selected for 16 percent of embedded projects according to the latest version of the annual survey, which was conducted with more than 2,000 respondents mainly located in North America and Europe between Jan. 17 and Feb. 13, 2013. The full survey is due to be officially launched at the DESIGN West Conference and Exhibition in San Jose, Calif., April 23 to 25.

Android (which is based on Google’s own distribution) was up from 13 percent of projects the year before, putting it in second place behind the most popular option, which was the use of in-house/custom operating systems, which the respondents use 28 percent of the time (see chart below).

However, despite pulling ahead of FreeRTOS and Ubuntu Linux, the news is not all good for Android in embedded applications. Whereas a year before 34 percent of users thought they would be using Android during the following 12 months that percentage dropped to 28 percent in the latest survey. With regard to engineers intentions there appears to be a slight move back towards in-house/custom for projects in the next 12 months.

In addition, while the free operating systems are always popular in term of downloads, the vendors of commercial operating systems, such as Wind River, Micrium and Green Hills, were busy at the Embedded World show pitching their operating systems as complete and robust solutions for particular market segments such as industrial, automotive and high-security applications.



Click on image to enlarge.

Android rising in embedded, but for how long? Source: UBM Tech

The survey touches on a broad range of embedded interests from design team size and design methods through wireless engagement and standards, operating systems, microprocessor and microcontroller selection and on to FPGAs, development software and brand recognition.

Blaza was able to provide some aggregate results and also some European versus non-European comparisons but stressed that the data is still being prepared and that the Embedded Market Study 2013 would be officially launched at the DesignWest Conference and Exhibition.

For further information about the survey contact Alex Wolfe (alex.wolfe@ubm.com)


Article originally published on EE Times, Feb. 27, 2013. Data points in this article are still preliminary. The full survey will be launched at DESIGN West 2013. See past embedded systems market studies archived here.

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