6/24/2003 - A new report from Venture Development Corporation (VDC) finds that purchasers of external chassis & module and plug-in analog I/O boards for data acquisition applications expect to make significant shifts in the types of products they are purchasing over the next 5 years.
The report is based on an extensive survey of purchasers (end users, OEMs, and others) of data acquisition products that probed their current requirements and likely requirements four years from now. Products covered in the investigation included:
The growth in use of data acquisition products is of course tied the expansion or decline of the consuming industries and applications. However, there are many other factors:
Factors tending to increase demand:
Factors tending to decrease demand:
USAGE TRENDS FOR PLUG-IN ANALOG I/O BOARDS
The Compact PCI bus is an adaptation of the PCI specification for rugged and embedded applications that require a more robust mechanical form factor. PXI, which was developed by National Instruments, but is now an open industry standard, is an adaptation of Compact PCI. The PXI specification simplifies the PCI specification by limiting options. This simplifies integration, increases the degree of compatibility between system controllers and chassis of different vendors, and prevents expansion of system controllers in using up valuable peripheral slots. These factors favor the adoption of these buses for data acquisition applications.
Both ISA and VME are older technologies that are being replaced. ISA plug-in analog I/O boards have limited bandwidth and data rate capabilities, and these are being displaced in applications by Compact PCI, PCI, and PXI. There is some VME displacement in applications by VXI. Beyond this, most VME implementations are in computer systems with PowerPC microprocessors, and the largest share of these utilize the VxWorks operating system. In contrast, as shown in this study, most of the data acquisition market is principally involved in the use of Intel microprocessors and Microsoft operating systems. Even respondents in industries and applications where use of VME boards has been relatively strong expect to shift more to use of data acquisition products using Compact PCI and PCI buses, Intel microprocessors and Microsoft operating systems.
USAGE TRENDS FOR EXTERNAL CHASSIS & MODULES
Regarding these products, significant numbers of survey respondents, and in particular end-user purchasers, expect to switch from using these products to the use of distributed/remote I/O and PC front ends which provide interfaces from the sensors back to personal computers where the data storage and analysis is done.
Paperless (or videographic) chart recorders are ones in which the paper recording mechanism has been replaced by an electronic display. There is an ongoing trend to use of these rather than paper recorders, as these eliminate use of paper consumables, simplify long-term data storage, provide more flexibility and better data analysis, and can result in significant cost savings.
Founded in 1971, VDC is a technology market research and consulting firm that specializes in industrial and commercial electronics, computing, communications, software and power system markets.
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