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IDC Predicts Smart Systems Microprocessor Cores to Double to Over 12 Billion by 2015

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Press release

First Ever "Smart Technology" Findings to be Revealed at SMART TECHnology World in San Francisco, April 19-20

SAN MATEO, Calif., April 13, 2011 - The International Data Corporation (IDC) Semiconductor research team today announced in a preliminary report that smart systems - those with programmable processor cores, high-level operating systems (OSes), and IP-capable connectivity - will consume more than 12.5 billion processor cores representing more than $100 billion in revenue by 2015, more than double the number of cores that shipped in 2010. Moreover, that number is set to nearly double again by 2020 to an estimated 24.6 billion cores. IDC will issue the findings - the first report of its kind - at the SMART TECHnology World conference, April 19-20, in San Francisco. 

IDC's Mario Morales, program vice president, Semiconductor and EMS Research, will detail the report's major findings in his keynote presentation, "Smart Tech Market Forecast and 2020 Vision," which kicks off the conference. For the first time, the IDC report and the SMART TECHnology Conference seek to give meaning to the "smart" market [think: smart meters, smart grid, smart phone, smart TV] by defining its taxonomy and quantifying its size and value.

The IDC report will be the first in a series of quantitative studies that size and forecast the adoption of technologies, including programmable microprocessors, systems on a chip (SoCs), high-level embedded OSes, and pervasive connectivity technologies that embed intelligence into formerly dumbed-down and disconnected embedded systems. Some additional findings are:

  • In 2015, over six times more microprocessor cores will ship in smart systems than in PCs.
  • In addition to adopting programmable microprocessors or SoCs and a high-level OSes, a major step in the evolution of embedded systems to smart systems is the ability to communicate over Internet Protocol (IP) to a human being or another system. Excluding mobile phones and PCs, unit shipments of IP-connected embedded systems will grow from approximately 1.4 billion in 2010 to over 3.3 billion in 2015.
  • In 2015, the over 3.3 billion units of IP-connected embedded systems that ship will exceed the number of PCs that ship in the same year by more than 6x.
  • The functionality, ease of use, and access we're used to in personal computers and smart phones will spread to the embedded systems that form much of the infrastructure of modern society, such as energy, industrial systems, automotive, and communications.
  • M&A activity will force more forward-looking partnerships and co-opetition among vendors, technology providers, and investors. IDC Semiconductors' report and SMART TECHnology World will provide the essential guidance and a window into what technologies will be adopted, how new business models will emerge, and how large the opportunities will be over the next five years. 

The Smart Technology World Conference is just the beginning for companies that are now coming together to define the future of the smart system market opportunity. Join our speakers and market leaders as they provide their perspectives on how the market will evolve and what new devices, technologies, and business models will take hold.

"The Embedded Internet is creating a design paradigm loaded with new opportunities and new responsibilities," said Ton Steenman, vice president, Intel Architecture Group and General Manager, Embedded and Communications Group. "This event brings together key thought leaders from across the ecosystem to address these challenges; creating a living lab of innovation for the future of the embedded industry."

"Today we have the tremendous opportunity to transform how embedded technology is understood and utilized as part of a modern enterprise IT strategy by moving beyond traditional, standalone devices," said Kevin Dallas, general manager of the Windows Embedded business at Microsoft. "I look forward to joining other industry leaders to discuss this fundamental shift and presenting an exciting vision for how harnessing the cloud can revolutionize the way embedded devices are built, how we use them, and the value they provide across our work and personal lives."

SMART TECHnology World will be held on April 19-20 at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco. For more information about SMART TECHnology World, including a complete agenda and registration information, please visit http://www.smarttechnologyworld.com.