Bright future seen for multicore embedded microprocessors

Revenue growth from multicore microprocessors in embedded applications in 2011 are projected to reach more than six times 2007 multicore revenues, and more than 44 times 2006 levels, according to analysts at market researcher Venture Development Corp. (VDC) in Natick, Mass.

Dec 1st, 2007
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Revenue growth from multicore microprocessors in embedded applications in 2011 are projected to reach more than six times 2007 multicore revenues, and more than 44 times 2006 levels, according to analysts at market researcher Venture Development Corp. (VDC) in Natick, Mass.

A VDC white paper pegs 2007 revenues from embedded multicore central processing units (CPUs) at $372.1 million, and $1.33 billion in 2009. This would predict embedded CPU revenues growing from $50.7 million in 2006 to $2.23 billion in 2011.

Fueling this multicore growth will be a paradigm shift in the embedded market from traditional single-core processors to processors with multiple cores, VDC analysts say.

Single-core processors and the performance imperative of Moore’s Law may be approaching an upper limit for adding increasing processing power simply by increasing clock speeds, VDC analysts say. In response to this problem, processor suppliers have turned to multi-core architectures to boost performance, because these processors can increase performance and thermal characteristics while reducing processor size.

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“The embedded multicore CPU market very much equates to a billion-dollar opportunity over the next five years,” says Eric Heikkila, director of VDC’s embedded hardware and systems practice. “The immense growth opportunity associated with the CPU piece of the multicore market is only the tip of the iceberg, as rapid growth is predicted for multicore DSP and Processor-IP revenues as well.

“Additionally, the revenue opportunity that exists for software vendors who can successfully address for their customers the problems associated with enabling software for multicore processors may be even larger than revenue opportunity that exists for processor vendors,” Heikkila says.

A major gap exists between multicore silicon and software able to take advantage of these new architectures, VDC analysts say in their report, entitled “Multicore Computing in Embedded Applications.”

For more information, contact VDC online at www.vdc-corp.com.

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