Major Open Standard Architectures Account for 65% of COM Modules

The major open standard architectures are dominating the Computer-On-Modules (COMs) market, according to VDC’s recently released third volume of its Global Market Analysis of Merchant Computer Boards for Embedded & Real-Time Applications. Based on the data from this latest edition of the study, the major open standard architectures – which include ETX, COM Express, DIMM-PC, and SOM-144 – were responsible for 65% of the total COM modules market in 2005. This percentage is expected to increase to 70% in 2007, taking five percentage points of market share away from proprietary architectures.

COM Module Shipments, Architecture Classes, 2005 & 2007
(% of Dollar Volume Shipments)

Major Open Standard Architectures Account for 65% of COM Modules in 2005

Open architectures are becoming increasing popular in the market for COM modules because they provide greater flexibility and capability than the proprietary architectures that originally gave rise to the COM module market. Proprietary architectures are still expected to experience growth of 27.7% over the 2005 to 2007 period, however, open architectures are projected to grow much more rapidly at a rate of 61.1%.

The rapid growth rate of open architecture COM modules, which will yield them a greater share of the total COM modules market by 2007, is attributable to the success of recent standards such as COM Express and ETX. ETX, and more recently COM Express, have successfully formalized standards that address the requirements of users, while also achieving widespread acceptance. ETX has already been widely adopted and COM Express is expected to follow suit as the newer standard continues to gain momentum toward widespread adoption.

Before establishing ETX (and now COM Express) as widespread standards, the COMs market stumbled a bit because an overabundance of different form factors caused market confusion. It appears that much of this is on the way to sorting itself out and the COMs market will be able to continue its healthy rate of growth.

Venture Development Corporation (VDC) is an independent technology market research and strategy consulting firm that specializes in a number of retail automation, RFID, AIDC, embedded, component, industrial, and defense markets. VDC has been operating since 1971, when the firm was founded by graduates of the Harvard Business School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Today, we employ a talented collection of analysts and consultants who offer a rare combination of expertise in the market research process; experience in technology product and program management; and formal training in engineering and marketing. VDC’s clients include thousands of the largest and fastest-growing technology suppliers in the world and the most successful investors participating in the markets we cover.