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Embedded Systems: Technologies and Markets

  • September 2016
  • 189 pages
  • BCC Research
Report ID: 2403057


Table of Contents

Use this report to:
- Assess macroeconomic factors and dynamics impacting various end product markets, along with market segment trends and their correlation to the overall industry.
- Identify key drivers for each segment, such as tablets, convertible laptops and other consumer electronic devices, and these devices’ architecture and functions of hardware components.
- Gain insight into business models used in different market segments and factors driving their growth.
- Evaluate leading players in the embedded technology market, number of patents being awarded, and their recent developments.

- The global market for embedded technology was valued at over $158 billion in 2015. The market should reach $169 billion in 2016 and nearly $221 billion in 2021, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5% from 2016 to 2021.
- The global market for embedded hardware was valued at $152.5 billion in 2015. The market should reach over $163 billion in 2016 and $213.7 billion in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 5.6% from 2016 to 2021.
- The embedded software market was valued at $5.6 billion in 2015. The market should reach $5.9 billion in 2016 and $7.2 billion in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 4.1% from 2016 to 2021.

Introduction & Scope


This research, which builds on published reports from 2011 and 2014, focuses on a market analysis and forecast for the embedded hardware and software technology market through 2021. The report explores the macroeconomic factors and dynamics impacting various end product markets, quantifies and analyzes major market segments, and highlights key players and emerging trends. Over the past ten years, market dynamics affecting embedded technology have changed radically. New buzzwords have emerged and “hot” devices and technologies have become “cold,” e.g. MP3 players, one of the must-have devices of 2003, have
gone out of fashion. Many "embedded" devices have become “open” because it is now possible to upload programs since the introduction of Android and Linux ecosystems. Google’s Android, an open-source operating system, has generated widespread interest globally and has quickly become the preferred OS for mobile devices. Many companies now use it in a variety of embedded devices, although Linux also continues to be a popular choice.

Semiconductors have continued to shrink, but the fundamental size limitations of transistors have resulted in foundries taking longer to introduce new technologies.
Price erosion and decreased profitability in this market has led to a significant increase in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and the report examines their affects on each market segment. The IoT has emerged as a new "hot" technology in embedded markets. IoT promises to connect every device to the Internet and allow them to talk to each other. The implications of this technology are mind-boggling and IoT technology is expected to touch everyone’s life over the next several years.
Consumer technology has continued to evolve and both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) promise to unleash a wide range of applications. Tablets, a
once “hot” technology in the embedded market, are now being replaced by "convertible laptops" that work as both a tablet and a laptop. Due to their low cost,
tablets are beginning to be deployed as display units in many low-end embedded devices.

Historically, the term embedded system was used to describe any non-PC related system, but the definition has grown to include any system dedicated to a particular functionality. The emergence of an OS such as Android has made it possible to add extensibility into a device that can be used in a wide range of applications. This report focuses on the two broad segments of embedded technology: hardware and software.

The hardware segment includes:
- Processor IP - Intellectual property (key players include ARM and MIPS).
- MPU/MCU - Microcontrollers and microprocessors.
- DSP - Digital signal processors.
- ASIC - Application-specific integrated circuit.
- FPGA - Field processing gate arrays.
- Embedded boards.
- Embedded hardware design.

The software segment consists of:
- OS - Operating system.
- Software development and testing tools (e.g., Eclipse).
- Middleware (arguably less important, but still significant) including transmission control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP).
- Open-source software and tools (key players include Linux and Android).

Data on each segment of the market include:
- Definitions and further segmentation.
- Geographic data.
- Revenue by end-application.
- Business models.
- Growth forecast and market trends.
- Key players and market share.

The report does not consider chips developed for specialized markets such as set-top boxes. It also excludes IP and electronic design automation (EDA) tools used for
hardware development.

This report will provide an overview of:
- Embedded devices' architecture and the functions of hardware components.
- Market segments and factors driving their growth.
- Business models used in different market segments.
- Market potential for each segment and projections for the next five years.

This report is a horizontal analysis that provides an overview of many vertical industries and will be useful to a broad reader base including:
- Embedded industry insiders.
- Product marketers and managers.
- Business and venture capital executives.
- Finance and investment professionals.

Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this report, including market data and other information obtained through numerous
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.
- Industry association data, such as journals, publications, white papers, and technical notes.
- Articles and reports published by company insiders.
- Interviews with company executives and other industry experts, such as hardware and software suppliers, device manufacturers and engineering services.

In building a growth forecast, we considered macroeconomic factors along with market segment trends and their correlation to the overall industry including:
- Industry revenue for the last five years to determine trends and correlations with market segments.
- Economic growth projections from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other key institutions.
- Key drivers for each segment, such as tablets and other consumer devices.
- Geographic trends that impact the industry, such as the rise of the Asia-Pacific market.
- Impacts of innovation on existing technology.

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