4/26/2004 - According to recent report by Venture Development Corporation (VDC), "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 million in 2003 and is expected to reach $4.3 million by the year 2006, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 6.4%.
*Note: "Enterprise/Server" class blades have not been included in this evaluation, because these are not considered embedded products.
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."
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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