Rising awareness for smart energy management, coupled with enhancement in technology is expected to act as a driving force for the microcontroller (MCU) market. Growing demand from end-use industries such as consumer electronics and automotive is expected to positively impact market growth. Compared to microprocessors, microcontrollers are cheaper and compact in size, which makes them economical to process digitally. High degree of competition in the market has led to price reduction, which is expected to further boost market growth.
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Microcontroller products are classified on the basis of internal bus width into three categories, which include 32-bit MCU, 16-bit MCU and 4/8-bit MCU. 32-bit MCU dominated the market in terms of revenue in 2013, accounting for close to 30% of the market share. In terms of volume, this segment is estimated to exhibit high growth with a CAGR of 13.0% from 2014 to 2020. These controllers are embedded in devices requiring higher processing capabilities in order to perform complex control operations. The 16-bit MCU segment accounted for over 25% of the overall market revenue in 2013. End-use industries including factory automation, medical applications, refrigeration, air conditioning and automotive utilize these products for greater power requirement and faster processing speed.
In terms of application areas, the market is categorized into industrial, consumer electronics, automotive and other applications such as communications and computers. The automotive sector was estimated to account for over 30% of the market in 2013; it is also expected to remain the market leader through the forecast period. MCUs are extensively used to achieve fuel efficiency and emission control in hybrid electric vehicles. These vehicles utilize smart energy management systems that are eco-friendly and are consequently driving microcontroller market demand. Consumer electronics accounted for over 20% of the overall market share in 2013, which can be mainly attributed to technological advancement and increased proliferation of these devices. In the industrial sector, MCUs enable industrial automation supporting extensive feedback and advanced sensor control mechanisms.
Asia Pacific is expected to be the dominant regional market over the forecast period and is projected to grow in terms of revenue. The region accounted for over 35% of the market volume in 2013. Outsourcing within the industry has resulted in price degradation of 32-bit and 16-bit chips, which has contributed to market growth.
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