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Market study bares embedded systems development trends

Posted: 01 Mar 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:operating system? rtos? microprocessor? database? mpu?

Venture Development Corp. estimated early last year that the market for embedded operating systems (OS), bundled tools, and related services would reach over $1 billion by 2007, with Asia-Pacific leading growth. And that the unbundled embedded software development tools market would reach $525.2 million, growing at 9.5-percent CAGR.

Yet, the Gartner Group estimates that the embedded software development tools and real-time operating systems (RTOS) market fell 13.8 percent over last year. The market research firm expects a return to growth in 2004 as the telecommunications and datacommunications markets, the biggest users of embedded software tools, begin to come out of a steep decline.

Forecasts such as these call for a closer look at the market. And what better way is there to gage trends than ask you - the embedded systems designer and Electronic Engineering Times - Asia reader? Thus, EE Times - Asia and Gartner Group asks the publication's readers and website visitors every year to help them better understand the trends in embedded systems development. One such market study was recently concluded to reveal the 2003 and planned usage of hardware components and development tools, as well as the levels of satisfaction with the current tool offerings.

The survey conducted late October 2003 (an EE Times-Asia, Gartner Dataquest joint effort), culminated with responses from 890 embedded systems designers in the primary Asian markets - China, South Korea and Taiwan, and India and Singapore (referred to as Rest of Asia).

The resulting study titled, Embedded Systems Development Trends: Asia, by Daya Nadamuni, principal analyst, Gartner Group, reveals that telecommunications/datacommunications is the primary industry of the respondents with a response rate at 27 percent. Consumer electronics holds the second place as in the previous year with 22 percent of responses.

Most of the embedded projects last year are estimated to have started in China at a weighted average of 3.74 new projects, with ROA ranking second with 3.72. Engineers in Taiwan and China are optimistic this year, expecting about four new projects (weighted average) in 2004.

The report shows that 64bit microprocessor/microcontroller architecture usage increased 7.2 percentage points, while that of 16bit DSPs increased 10 percentage points over the previous year. This came with slight decrease in the usage of ?P/?C 16bit, and DSP 20-, 24-, and 32bit architectures. In other hardware component categories, the highest usage is for Flash memory components. Flash memory usage is high across all the countries surveyed, peaking at 60 percent in South Korea.

On the software side, real-time operating system (RTOS) usage has increased by 7 percentage points to 66 percent across the region. While Linux, VxWorks and Windows CE remain the most widely used RTOS in the market, C and assembly are the most popular languages for firmware development.

Nadamuni also reveals that 69 percent of the embedded micro-component purchase decisions are made at the architectural exploration and conceptual design stages. The figure is 62 percent for RTOS and 58 percent for application development tools.

The white paper based on this survey also provides an understanding of development-tool, language and methodology usage patterns and satisfaction or lack thereof, examines buying behavior and identifies about factors that influence purchase decisions. The full report is freely downloadable for registered users of EETimesAsia.com (www.eetasia.com).

- By Vivek Nanda

Electronic Engineering Times - Asia





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