The Internet of Things (IoT) processor, sensor and communications markets are set to grow by 36.2% next year, according to a new Gartner report.
The study reveals that processors will be the largest revenue contributor to the connected “things” semiconductor device forecast ($7.58 billion in 2015), while sensors will experience the greatest increase with 47.5 percent growth in 2015.
“The demand for billions of things will ripple throughout the entire value chain, from software and services to semiconductor devices,” explained Alfonso Velosa, Gartner Research Director. “These ‘things’ will drive huge demand for individual chips. IoT semiconductor maturation will come from industries spanning consumer, industrial, medical, automotive and others.”
As alluded to by Velosa, analysts predict that the automotive and household consumer markets will help spur this growth, as companies will seek to research and develop IoT-based devices, ranging from smart lighting to in-vehicle entertainment systems. In addition, Gartner emphasizes that both safety regulations and the convenience of autonomous vehicles will drive a “tremendous demand” for new semiconductor devices in the car.
One example of how the Internet of Things will transform the car of tomorrow is the use of so-called predictive maintenance. Car owners will be notified of any necessary maintenance via small sensors throughout the engine; as a result, predictive maintenance enables superior experience for the consumer while paving the way for cost savings for both the consumer and the auto dealer.
Furthermore, LED lighting will be a huge volume play, both in lowering costs and allowing for new services through its capability to connect, network and sense the environment. Consumers looking to enhance their daily lives through the use of connected devices will also add to the IoT demand through both wearable technology, like smart glasses, smartwatches and fitness bands, as well as televisions and set-top boxes.
“Gartner forecasts almost 30% growth through 2020 for IoT semiconductor revenue,” concluded Dean Freeman, Gartner Research Vice President. “This revenue spans every conceivable industry and is driven by the immense scale of low-cost devices. Some in the industry believe this growth will transform the semiconductor industry. However, further investigation shows that the majority of IoT devices are commodity offerings. The truth is that inexpensive devices are one of the biggest enablers of IoT.”
In order to make this more intelligent, more connected world a reality, these Internet and wireless-enabled devices will be embedded with Atmel microcontrollers to give once-ordinary “things” new powers.