DSP Market Gaining on Microcontrollers

Databeans, a semiconductor market intelligence supplier, has just released a brand new study on the DSP market, titled “2006 Communications DSP.” In this study, the firm describes in detail, the current market conditions for communications electronics and communications DSP products.

The Digital Signal Processor (DSP) has increasingly gained importance in the micro-logic market. In fact, the DSP market bypassed the largest market for microcontrollers, the 8-bit market, in 2002; and while the overall microcontroller market remains the second largest contributor to worldwide processor revenue, DSP is quickly gaining share. While this segment, which is included in worldwide processor revenue, along with microprocessors and microcontrollers, is the smallest contributor, it is outpacing the other two in terms of growth, with a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent over the next five years, compared to 10 percent for microprocessors and 8 percent for microcontrollers.

Databeans Estimates
DSP plays a significant role in different kinds of electronics, but has earned its position in the semiconductor market from the mobile phone application. Nokia is the largest DSP customer, followed by Motorola, Samsung, LG Electronics, and BenQ (Siemens). And although wireless will remain the real application driver for the DSP, other applications also incorporate this technology. Digital audio, IP phones, medical diagnostic imaging, and digital video all use DSP technology.

The largest market for DSP by far is the wireless communications market, and this is due to the large volume of mobile phones that ship every year. The DSP performs the rapid signal processing required in digital voice transmission. Typical platforms include products that operate at over 100MHz for handsets and up to 1GHz for base stations. Handset applications use 16-bit products with performance up to 600MIPS.

Databeans estimates that wireless mobile phones will contribute over 85 percent to overall communications DSP worldwide revenue, which is estimated at over $7 billion for 2006. Overall communications DSP revenue, comprised of mobile phones, wireless infrastructure, short-range wireless, other wireless, and wired applications, is estimated at 80 percent of the entire DSP market, which is expected to reach over $9 billion this year.

Texas Instruments commands the mobile phone DSP market, with about 2 out of every 3 phones containing a TI DSP. DSP revenue from the mobile phone market is expected to increase from over $6 billion this year to twice this amount by 2011. This growth would average to a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent. Other applications are growing at the same or better rate, in terms of generating DSP revenue; but for the duration of the forecast period, the majority share of DSP revenue is expected to come from mobile phones.

About Databeans
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