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Intelligent systems outweigh PCs, servers, and phones combined, IDC says

Sep 9, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Intelligent systems — embedded devices featuring connectivity, high-performance CPUs, and high-level operating systems — already outnumber PCs, servers, and mobile phones combined, IDC says. Moreover, the market for these products will double in units and revenue by 2015, the research firm adds.

IDC's Sept 9 press release, touting a forthcoming report called "Intelligent Systems: The Next Big Opportunity" didn't offer much detail. But, it claimed, "the segment of intelligent systems based on shipments from the traditional embedded system markets already exceeds the segment based on shipments from combined PCs, servers, and mobile phones."

In other words, you might not always be aware of them, and most tech reporting ignores them, but embedded systems are taking over. According to IDC, they're rapidly evolving — from fixed-function, disconnected systems to those that have high-performance CPUs, connectivity, and high-level operating systems (i.e., the likes of Linux or Windows Embedded).

IDC says intelligent systems were 19 percent of "all major electronic system unit shipments" in 2010, and will constitute more than one third of all systems by 2015. At that point, they'll be consuming nearly 14.5 billion microprocessor cores, the firm adds.

According to IDC, the intelligent systems market amounts to "over 1.8 billion units and more than $1 trillion in revenue today." By 2015, the market will double to nearly four billion units and more than $2 trillion in revenue, it predicts.

Mario Morales, vice president of semiconductor research at IDC, stated, "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. Cloud-based applications and analytic workloads will extract significant business value from all of the end-user data."

IDC did not provide further information for those of us in the peanut gallery, but it did trot out quotes from several industry heavyweights.

For example, Kevin Dallas (pictured), general manager of Microsoft's Windows Embedded business, stated, "The cloud is the essential link that enables the conceptual 'Internet of Things' to be pervasive. We see devices breaking new ground for the collection of data, and we are excited to expand the possibilities for where that data is sent and how it is used through intelligent systems."

Ton Steenman (pictured), vice president and general manager of Intel's Embedded Communications Group, stated, "We believe the growth in intelligent systems signals the unprecedented transformation of a new wave of intelligent, connected solutions emerging from within the embedded industry, with literally billions of devices connecting to the Internet every day. We are passionately engaged in making the intelligent connected world a reality by working to create end-to-end solutions."

Further information

IDC did not provide pricing or a release date for its "Intelligent Systems: The Next Big Opportunity," but said the report will offer "a comprehensive worldwide forecast for the size and growth of the intelligent systems market and the microprocessors inside, analyzing the major trends that will drive this market." Coverage encompasses seven major industries (communications, computing, consumer, energy, healthcare, industrial, and transportation) and all major processor architectures, including ARM, MIPS, Power Architecture, and x86, the firm added.

Jonathan Angel can be reached at [email protected] and followed at

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