12/22/2004 - In a recent study of the global market for Slot Single Board Computers and Embedded CPU Blades in Embedded and Real-Time Applications, Venture Development Corporation (VDC) determined that native switch fabric access is becoming a necessity, rather than an option, in CompactPCI SBC products.
VDC divided the CompactPCI SBC market into three segments:
The overall market for CompactPCI SBCs is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 0.7% over this period. Blades show the highest projected CAGR (11.7%), while "traditional" SBCs show a decline (a negative CAGR of -7.8%).
J. Eric Gulliksen, Director of VDC's Embedded Hardware Practice, states that Fabric-Enabled SBCs actually represent a half step in the evolution of CompactPCI CPU boards. "Vendors are offering these boards as a hedge against a full commitment to the Blade Architecture. Fabric-Enabled SBCs, although growing in share and in actual shipments, show a substantially lower rate of increase. As switch fabrics and high-speed serial interconnects increase in speed and bandwidth, customers will realize that the PCI bus actually represents 'excess baggage' which has outlived its utility."
Gulliksen also pointed out that CompactPCI SBCs, as a whole, show only modest growth over the 2004-2008-time period. "Actually, we expect shipments of CompactPCI CPU boards, including Blades, to peak in 2005 and then to start a slow decline as ATCA begins to have an impact. Finalization of the CompactTCA Specification, which will define CompactPCI-based Blade configurations, may temper or even reverse this decline."
Other relevant findings in the VDC report include:
Founded in 1971, VDC is a technology market research and consulting firm that specializes in industrial and commercial electronics, computing, communications, software and power systems markets.
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