Friday, June 04, 2004

Embedded Software Development: A Hot, Evolving Market, But ...

China Sourcing Alert    
Friday, June 4, 2004
Dateline: Qingdao, China
Embedded Software Development: A Hot, Evolving Market, But ...
Although this blog focuses on enterprise apps, the market for embedded software solutions should not necessarily be overlooked.  A recent article in The Hindu Business Line ( ) claimed a world market estimated at $21 billion in 2003, with an expected growth rate of 16% over the next three years.  Telecom and networking applications account for the bulk of the market, followed by apps in the consumer electronics, industrial automation, automotive and avionics sectors.  Although the cited article is about opportunities in India, embedded operating systems (EOS) market share leader Wind River considers India AND China as key emerging markets.
Of course, mobile handsets and personal digital assistants (PDAs) are driving a lot of apps, but this is yesterday's news; what is much more interesting is what is happening in the embedded processor space.  I admit, there is much debate among electrical engineers (EEs) regarding the future of microprocessors and the evolution of reconfigurable systems (see, for example, ; for a historical perspective, see and for applications to memory devices, see .)  But a quick scan of The Guide to Computing Literature points to a lot of reconfigurable systems R&D encompassing a wide-range of apps, from user interfaces (UIs) to biometrics to handheld supercomputers.
Bottom line:  The embedded systems software development market is a potentially lucrative market for China's SIs, and the evolution of reconfigurable systems (see ) presents an opportunity for SIs to stake a claim in what may become the next Gold Rush.  However, there is one catch:  It is difficult to leverage capabilities in the embedded market for capturing opportunities in the enterprise market.  "Migration" from J2ME to J2EE may be one solution, perhaps the only solution, for a company entering the embedded space and planning a later entry into the enterprise space.
David Scott Lewis
President & Principal Analyst
IT E-Strategies, Inc. (access to blog content in China) (AvantGo channel)
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