Technavio’s latest report on the global industrial embedded systems market provides an analysis on the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2016-2020. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.
Bharath Kanniappan, a lead analyst from Technavio, specializing in research on industrial automation sector, says, “Industrial embedded systems are widely used in both process and discrete industries. Industries such as oil and gas, power, cement, chemical, and automotive, and pulp and paper, among others, have harsh operating conditions and require robust automation systems.”
New trends such as vision systems, multi-core processors, and power efficiency capabilities have further augmented the utility and scope of the industrial embedded hardware market. The latest developments in embedded hardware are the incorporation of embedded sensors in the form of nano blobs in materials used to build industrial robots, thus enabling the machines to achieve increased conductivity and superior sensitivity. Such attributes let robots safely interact with objects and human beings in industrial environments. Such developments are an impetus to the growing embedded hardware market.
The top three emerging trends driving the global industrial embedded systems market according to Technavio automation research analysts are:
- Increased adoption of multi-core processors
- Rise of wireless connectivity
- Advancement of materials used in embedded systems
Increased adoption of multi-core processors
Earlier, 8-bit microcontrollers were the most commonly used in industrial embedded systems such as motor control, industrial process control, actuators, sensors, and robotics. However, industrial technology has advanced to include complex capabilities such as wireless connectivity, imaging, and smart sensors, and this has propelled the demand for advanced and efficient algorithms. Hence, vendors are designing single chips with multiple cores to enhance applications, increase reliability, reduce power consumption, and lower overall operational costs.
“The Compact RIO industrial embedded controller from National Instruments has a dual core processor which has enabled the integration of latest technologies such as Xilinx Kintex 7 FPGAs and 64-bit Intel Atom E3800 SoC,” according to Bharath.
Rise of wireless connectivity
IoT enables prompt collection, storage, and transmission of data, which allows rapid analysis and decision making by experts across international borders. Recent developments in sensor technologies (such as wireless sensor nodes) can be integrated with wireless networking protocols like ZigBee and Wi-Fi. Previously industrial embedded systems were operating as stand-online systems. Currently, due to the high demand of IoT and wireless protocols including near field communications and long range protocols in various industries, industrial embedded systems are adopting wireless SoC architecture.
Wireless connectivity in industrial embedded systems has enabled Internet connectivity and subsequently increased the market prospects of industrial embedded systems during the forecast period.
Advancement of materials used in embedded systems
Previously sensors used in industries could collect and interpret information only at the point of contact between the sensor and the object. This is a major limiting factor in the use of industrial sensors. Hence newer materials are being developed which can incorporate multiple embedded technologies and augment the functioning of sensors. Using new composite materials such as ceramic hybrid polymers and polydimethylsiloxane, the lifespan of embedded systems remains unaffected as these materials redirect stress away from these electronic devices.
By successful incorporation of embedded systems in these materials and the use of finite-element-analysis (FEA) software, sensors can perform their function beyond the limits of the contact point by using analysis of predictive stress and strain patterns. These superior sensors can be utilized for effective and efficient predictive maintenance in various industries.
The key vendors are as follows:
- National Instruments
- Infineon Technologies
Technavio is a leading global technology research and advisory company. The company develops over 2000 pieces of research every year, covering more than 500 technologies across 80 countries. Technavio has about 300 analysts globally who specialize in customized consulting and business research assignments across the latest leading edge technologies.
Technavio analysts employ primary as well as secondary research techniques to ascertain the size and vendor landscape in a range of markets. Analysts obtain information using a combination of bottom-up and top-down approaches, besides using in-house market modeling tools and proprietary databases. They corroborate this data with the data obtained from various market participants and stakeholders across the value chain, including vendors, service providers, distributors, re-sellers, and end-users.