What would readers choose? Here's a glimpse into our subscribers' favorite component vendors.
We all know the famous quote: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” That said, I'm going to give you some statistics anyway. When some of you subscribed to Embedded Systems Design, we asked you a series of demographic questions regarding your vendor selections (there's no such thing as a free lunch, right?).
After tabulating the responses, I think some of the results may surprise you. In some cases, the results are probably what you'd expect. But in others, they're not so predictable. I'm specifically referring to your responses to the questions about selecting components, including microprocessors and microcontrollers, analog/mixed-signal ICs, boards, software, and tools.
For example, one question was “Who is your primary 8-bit microcontroller vendor?” No surprise hereMicrochip ranked number one, followed by Atmel and Freescale, respectively.
Another question was “Who is your primary 32-bit microprocessors vendor?” Again, no surprise, as it brought a tie between Intel and Freescale. If you want to get technical, Freescale edged out Intel by 0.55%. Close enough to call it a draw.”Who is your primary analog/mixed-signal ICs vendor?” The top five, in order, were Texas Instruments, National Semiconductor, Analog Devices, Maxim, and Linear Technology.
By this point, you're probably wondering where the surprises are. How about, “Who is your primary CPLDs/FPGAs vendor?” While you might have predicted that Xilinx would come out on top, would you expect them to have an advantage of more than 2X over Altera (51% vs. 21%)? Probably not. Atmel placed a distant third at 9%.
But the biggest shocker to me came from the question, “Who is your primary systems boards vendor?” Who is number one, you ask? Some vendor named “Other or no preference” received the majority of votes, a whopping 40% of the selections.
Doing a little analysis here and looking at the list of possible choices, I'll assume that the choice is really “no preference” rather than “other.” What does that say about brand loyalty? It says that there isn't much. The consolidation that the industry has gone through lately doesn't help either.
Being the “half-full” kind of guy that I am, I see this as an opportunity for the systems boards vendors to build customer loyalty. We all know price is important, but it can't be the number one criteria in vendor selection. That doesn't do any of us any good.
If you're interested in the rest of the results, send me a note and I'll pass along the information.
Richard Nass is editor in chief of Embedded Systems Design magazine. He can be reached at .