Thursday, December 27, 2007

Manufacturers Shipped Over 4 Billion Embedded Systems/Devices in 2006

Recently published research by Venture Development Corporation (VDC) concludes that over 4 billion embedded systems/devices were shipped worldwide in 2006. According to VDC’s 2007 Embedded Systems Market Statistics report, significant growth in the number of embedded shipments is expected to continue over the coming years.

Furthermore, VDC estimates that embedded systems using no formal operating system (with no software on the device that is considered to be an operating system by the project team) or in-house developed operating systems as their primary operating system represented the majority of total embedded system shipments in 2006. Through 2009, VDC expects the number of embedded devices shipping with a commercial and/or open source operating system to grow at a faster rate than shipments of devices with an in-house/proprietary operating system or with no formal operating system.
The trend toward the use of formal third-party operating systems within today’s embedded systems projects is driving this transition. However, VDC believes that migrations in operating system selection will impact total embedded unit shipments less visibly in the shorter term, as the number of products shipping in any given year will always be heavily represented by designs from years past.

“Further complicating this analysis is the fact that embedded systems may contain one or more operating system environment and/or processor (either multiple processors or multi-cores on a single chip), offering additional opportunities for obtaining royalties on run-time environments,” says Matt Volckmann, Senior Analyst/Program Manager with VDC’s Embedded Software Practice. “The growing complexity per embedded system/device (in terms of hardware and software requirements) will therefore also impact the opportunity per unit shipped going forward for embedded system solution providers.”

In addition to providing key data on the annual shipments of embedded systems/devices, VDC’s 2007 Embedded Systems Market Statistics report also specifically addresses many other important developments and trends within the embedded systems market, and offers core statistics on the number of embedded developers and embedded development project starts. The report also includes convenient one-page summaries of end-user survey data by vertical, region, and primary processor architecture as a valuable reference source for companies interested in better understanding the embedded landscape by particular communities of interest.