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Global embedded computer board market tops $3 billion

Apr 23, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

According to a recent report by Venture Development Corp. (VDC) titled The Merchant Computer Boards for Embedded/Real Time Applications Market Intelligence Program 2002/2003, the global market for embedded merchant computer boards reached $3.3 billion in 2003 and is expected to reach $4.3 billion by the year 2006, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 6.4%.

All product categories are projected to exhibit positive growth in dollar volume shipments over the period, with the exception of the PC/104 family. The decline in dollar volume shipments of PC/104 family modules is attributed to a predicted sharp erosion in Average Selling Prices (ASPs) over the period; unit volume shipments of these modules are projected to increase. The most dramatic growth is projected for standards-based/embedded blades, and for Computers-on-Modules (COMs). Both of these categories comprise emerging technologies.

Eric Gulliksen, VDC's Embedded Hardware Practice Director, offers these precautions to board manufacturers: “Overall, the embedded board market appears to be reasonably healthy, with the exception of the PC/104 family category. However, we expect to see a fairly rapid migration from 'traditional' CompactPCI SBCs toward embedded blades, particularly in the communications sector. We believe that 'fabric-enabled' CompactPCI SBCs that also carry the shared bus onto the backplane, as most of the boards under PICMG 2.16, 2.17, etc., do represent a transition step.”

Gulliksen also states that, “Despite the reasonable healthy growth projected for mezzanine cards, we caution against viewing these as a major opportunity. This market is already too crowded, with too many vendors and too many products.”

(Note: “Enterprise/Server” class blades have not been included in this evaluation, because these are not considered by VDC to be embedded products.)

Copyright © 2004, Venture Development Corp. (VDC). All rights reserved. Reproduced by with permission.

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