The microcontroller, relegated for years to the 8-bit world, is moving rapidly into 16- and 32-bit universes, according to an In-Stat report released Wednesday.
The market research firm said the shift is being driven primarily by newer robust products including smart cards, PC peripherals, and hard disk drives. In-Stat predicted that by 2009, 16- and 32-bit controllers will account for twice the revenue of 8-bit controllers
“Properly designed, higher bit-width microcontrollers will require less power consumed per workload executed than their counterparts in the 8-bit category,” said In-Stat analyst Max Baron in a statement. “The shift in revenue is primarily due to the appearance of products providing sophisticated features that must employ higher performance and wider-datapath cores.”
Both 16- and 32-bit devices are dominated by smart card usage with the greatest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the 16-bit category expected to come from digital cameras, MP3 players and control-automation, In-Stat said.
The market researcher said after smart cards are accounted for, 32-bit MCU growth will come primarily from digital wireless devices, PC DVDs, barcode readers, and security devices.