The market for so-called "intelligent" systems—defined as those with high-performance microprocessors, connectivity and high-level operating systems—will account for more than one third of all major electronic system unit shipments in 2015, up from 19 percent in 2010, according to a new report by market research firm International Data Corp. (IDC).
According to the forthcoming report, "Intelligent Systems: The Next Big Opportunity," the market for intelligent systems will account for more than 1.8 billion units and more than $1 trillion in revenue this year. But by 2015, IDC expects the market to double to nearly 4 billion units and more than $2 trillion in revenue.
"IDC believes this new generation of intelligent systems and its ecosystem will have broad reach and establish the next wave in computing over the next five years," said Mario Morales, vice president of semiconductor research at IDC, in a statement. "Cloud-based applications and analytic workloads will extract significant business value from all of the end-user data."
Overall, IDC expects embedded systems to consume nearly 14.5 billion microprocessor cores in 2015, up from about 7.5 billion in 2010. The firm maintains that, within the intelligent system segment, the portion of system unit shipments based on traditional embedded systems already exceeds the portion based on PCs, servers and mobile phones combined.
According to the IDC report, the evolution of embedded systems from fixed function and disconnected systems to intelligent systems continues to gain momentum and puts intelligent systems on track to bring the "Internet of things" to reality. The report indicates that momentum will accelerate beyond 2015 as the ecosystem of hardware, software, and services vendors bring more intelligence into systems through higher levels of performance and programmability, more forms of connectivity, increasing penetration of sensors, and a growing base of cloud-based applications and data.
"Embedded processors that pack more performance and integration into ever-shrinking form factors and power envelopes are fueling intelligent systems and enabling entirely new and highly compelling
product categories," said Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale Semiconductor Inc.'s Networking and Multimedia Group.