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32-bit segment to drive MCU growth

Posted: 26 Jun 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mcu? ic insights? microcontroller? digital video camera?

Bolstered by strong growth in the 32-bit segment, overall sales of MCUs are expected to rise 11 percent this year. The 2003 McClean Report from IC Insights Inc. indicates steady sales of cars, home appliances and consumer electronics will keep the market for MCUs very active throughout the year. Total MCU shipments are expected to jump 7 percent and overall average selling price is forecast to increase 4 percent, resulting in the 11 percent overall MCU market growth.

IC Insights forecasts that increasing sophistication of end-use platforms such as cars, Internet-capable cellphones, PDAs, printers, digital still cameras, digital video cameras, and high-speed modems will drive the 32-bit MCU segment to grow 30 percent this year and 38 percent next year. Most leading MCU vendors have adjusted their portfolios to provide a seamless upgrade from 8-bit and 16-bit MCUs to 32-bit devices.

While many designers are being drawn to upgrade to 32-bit or 16-bit MCUs, the 8-bit MCU market still remains active. Motorola Inc., NEC Corp., Microchip Technology Inc., and Zilog Inc. are among the many companies that have strengthened their efforts in this competitive arena during the past year.

Recent releases of MCUs offer more features and better performance such as Flash memory, low-power (1.8V) options and small packages that integrate functions such as ADC and memory into a single chip. Rewriteable Flash memory allows manufacturers to program MCUs just before they ship. While on-board Flash is about 20 percent more expensive than mask ROM, it saves money at the back-end with fewer faulty chips.

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