The microcontroller (MCU) market showed a slight recovery in 2006, growing 3.0 percent to U.S. $12.4 billion. The 32-bit-and-greater segment drove dollar growth. Overall unit growth of MCUs was 19.5 percent.
"Tremendous unit growth for 16-bit MCUs was largely responsible for the overall growth in 2006," said Tony Massimini, chief of Technology and Micrologic at Semico, which issued the market report. "This high growth for 16-bit MCU shipments was due primarily to IC cards and industrial control. The 16-bit segment will continue to show strong growth, surpassing 8-bit unit sales in 2011."
The MCU market is segmented by embedded memory technology and by density. Flash MCUs account for the largest share of MCU revenues, capturing over 58 percent in 2006, and is predicted to continue growing to grow to more than $12.3 billion in 2011. However, the IC card MCU segment surpassed Flash MCU in unit sales for the first time in 2006, with more than 2.9 billion units sold in 2006. In the next 5 years, IC card MCU is forecast to grow stronger and represent more than 46 percent of the total MCU market.
Overall, average selling price (ASP) declined in 2006, and Massimini forecasts ASPs to continue declining across each category.
The report, MCU Memory Trends, is available from Semico Research Corporation, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
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