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Industry Insider

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Over $25 Billion: Total Size of the Embedded Software Engineering Market

A series of Embedded Systems Market Statistics reports from Venture Development Corporation Research provides a detailed, vertical-by-vertical analysis of key embedded industries. Within these reports, VDC provides estimates for the total market for embedded software engineering (TMESE), which is believed to represent more than $25 billion worldwide.

While spending on commercial software and tools for embedded software engineering represents a large portion of the TMESE, spending on engineering labor continues to represent a substantial piece of this market opportunity. VDC views this larger market size to be most representative of the total revenue opportunity for software vendors. Vendors who provide solutions able to increase developer efficiency, improve time-to-market, and reduce labor costs can potentially capture a greater portion of the value of the engineering effort that the software they provide replaces.

The TMESE calculation stems from recent upgrades to VDC’s Embedded Systems Market Statistics Model. This model also provides key metrics regarding the global engineering population and embedded projects, with an emphasis on vertically, regionally and task-specific analysis.

Continuous and Cavium Collaborate on Wireless Solutions for LTE Networks

Continuous Computing has announced collaboration with Cavium Networks in a joint effort that will provide network equipment providers (NEPs) with a combined high-performance solution that can support the complete range of long-term evolution (LTE) network elements, from LTE Base Stations (eNodeBs) to evolved packet core (EPC) devices, including mobility management entity (MME), serving gateway (SGW), packet data network (PDN) gateway and evolved packet data gateway (ePDG).

The combination of Continuous Computing’s Trillium LTE software and Cavium’s OCTEON multicore processor family, which boasts a 16-core MIPS64 architecture with advanced hardware acceleration, allows the companies to offer NEPs immediate solutions that support high-performance LTE networks. Available now, this combination from Continuous Computing and Cavium Networks solves critical performance issues for NEPs as well as reduces time-to-market, project risk and overall cost and complexity.

Continuous Computing’s Trillium LTE software–including Diameter, S1-AP, eGTP, GTP, MAC, PDCP, RLC, RRC and X2-APsupports LTE Femtocells, macro/pico LTE base stations, and each of the network elements within the EPC. All Trillium LTE protocols are compliant with the latest 3GPP-defined LTE specifications and are multi-threaded for optimized performance on multicore processors. Trillium LTE software also includes reference applications for relevant LTE interfaces such as LTE-Uu, S1, S5, S6, S7, S10, X2, etc.

Low-Voltage Motor Drives Market Expected to Grow During Downturn

According to the latest statistics from IMS Research, the worldwide market for low-voltage AC & DC motor drives experienced unprecedented revenue growth in 2007, increasing by 19.7% over 2006 levels. Data reported by leading drives suppliers indicate all regions and industry segments exhibited strong growth during the year.

The market is expected to continue performing well despite the global economic downturn, with positive growth forecast for both 2008 and 2009, when annual revenue growth should bottom out at 3.7%. High energy prices and an increased focus on energy efficiency will maintain positive growth of market revenues, which are expected to increase by an average annual rate of 10.4% throughout the forecast period to reach an estimated value of $13.6 billion by 2012.

Lead by infrastructure expansion in China and India, the Asia Pacific motor drives market experienced the largest amount of growth in 2007, and was the second largest regional market after EMEA. Valued at nearly $2.4 billion, the drives market in Asia Pacific is expected to continue growing at the fastest rate over the next five years. However, difficult economic conditions around the globe will slow growth across all regions, with most impact felt in the drives markets in the Americas and Japan. The success of recently introduced government stimulus packages will determine the severity of the market downturn. Positive growth in the utilities, food & beverage, chemicals & petroleum and renewable energy industries is expected to offset declines in the metal processing, mining, textiles and commercial HVAC industries.

Economic Downturn Speeding Trend toward Standards, COTS

In a new report tracking Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture (ATCA) adoption among Network Equipment Providers (NEPs), analysts from VDC Research Group predict an accelerated trend away from proprietary architectures developed in-house and toward open standards and Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) building blocks. Analysts say the economic downturn is hastening a trend that was already well underway. The new report “ATCA Adoption Trends Within The Network Equipment Provider Community,” predicts that 85% of Tier I NEPs will be implementing the standard ATCA architecture by the end of 2010, and the percentage of those implementations using COTS building blocks will increase as NEPs look to prioritize their research and development budgets in the economic downturn.

VDC Research Group surveyed nearly 30 NEPs for the report and found that more than half of Tier I NEPs and more than three-quarters of Tier II and III NEPs are currently implementing ATCA. As standards like ATCA and MicroTCA have matured, many NEPs have shifted their competitive focus away from hardware and integration to the software layer.

“Service providers want options that include server-based, IP-centric platforms that are future-proofed for the continued evolution of their networks,” said Ron de Lange, executive vice president with Tekelec. “With open standards like ATCA, we minimize costs and deliver high-quality multimedia session management products by leveraging a strong supplier ecosystem and the economies of scale that come with a common architecture and components across a broad range of network elements.” A case study on Tekelec’s implementation of ATCA is included in the report, which was commissioned by the Communications Platforms Trade Association (CP-TA).

National Instruments to Further Medical Device Development with Grants in 2009

National Instruments has announced it will continue its investment to further medical device development by offering software and training grants in 2009. As the global economic climate tightens, the medical device industry continues to thrive. A recent study of more than 1,000 medical device manufacturers by medical device consulting firm Emergo Group, reported 61 percent of respondents expect sales for their companies to increase in 2009. To help medical device manufacturers meet this demand, NI is accepting applications for the 2009 Medical Device Grant Program, which provides start-up assistance for those who are interested in using NI hardware as a component of their medical devices.

Because many of the innovative advances in medical technology over the past 20 years have been developed by small, entrepreneurial medical technology companies, National Instruments has created a grant program that awards up to $25,000 in software and services to start-up medical device companies that are evaluating NI hardware as a component of their devices. The goal of the grant program is to help start-up companies reduce the cost and complexity of development by providing them with technology such as the easy-to-use NI LabView graphical system design platform. NI is accepting applications for the grant program until Nov. 30.

In 2008, National Instruments granted more than $340,000 in software and training to 21 medical device developers. Engineers use NI hardware and software solutions for medical devices to save time and money during medical device design, prototype and deployment.

Using NI hardware and software, domain experts can automate traditionally low-level implementation tasks with LabView and spend more time researching science and developing treatments. For example, with an arsenal of embedded electronics, 2008 grant recipient Quark Cybernetics and Fundamental Research Laboratories is using LabView and NI hardware to create an advanced electrocardiogram, which aims to predict cardiac pathologies using advanced mathematical algorithms.

MIPS Technologies Joins the Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation (LF), the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, has announced that MIPS Technologies has become a member of the Foundation. MIPS Technologies is a provider of industry-standard architectures, processors and analog IP for digital consumer, home networking, wireless, communications and business applications.

By joining the Linux Foundation, MIPS Technologies will help drive growth and promotion of Linux among its customer base and beyond. MIPS Technologies joins a leading group of companies who are experiencing business success and market expansion based on customer leverage of Linux and open source technologies.

“A large majority of MIPS developers are using Linux for product development,” said Udi Kalekin, vice president of software engineering at MIPS. “We are pleased to join the Linux Foundation as part of our commitment to maintaining and enhancing our contribution to the Linux community. We envision an evolution in consumer platform support on multicore systems powered by Linux, and our work with the Linux Foundation will accelerate this process.”

“Companies such as MIPS Technologies are making smart decisions in tough times,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “The company’s work on Linux and desire to collaborate with its peers and the community will only help to increase its already strong market position. We’re looking forward to MIPS Technologies’ contributions to the Foundation.”

Texas Instruments Acquires CICLON Semiconductor

Texas Instruments has acquired Bethlehem, PA-based Ciclon Semiconductor Device Corporation, a designer of high-frequency, high-efficiency power management semiconductors. Ciclon Semiconductor Device Corporation is a fabless provider of high-frequency, high-efficiency power MOSFET and RF LDMOS and semiconductor solutions for high-performance applications. The acquisition expands TI’s capability to improve energy efficiency in today’s end-equipment designs, including high-power computing and server systems.

Designers who incorporate Ciclon’s power management technology can double a power system’s operating frequency and achieve greater than 90-percent power efficiency in a footprint up to 20 percent smaller than today’s power supply. TI uses its application knowledge and high-performance analog manufacturing capabilities to provide discrete and integrated power management solutions for any portable or line-powered power design challenge–from cell phones and portable medical equipment to telecom, industrial and computing applications.