A microcontroller (MCU) is a semiconductor IC used in numerous embedded applications. A typical MCU chip includes core, processer memory and programmable output/input peripherals. Microcontrollers are cheaper and smaller than microprocessors, which makes it to control numerous devices and processes digitally. They are used mainly in devices that need a significant degree of control which are utilized by the user. Growing automotive industry is anticipated to be a major driver for the market over the next five years. In addition, high degree of rivalry in the industry has resulted in price cuts, which is anticipated to further fuel the market growth. Industrial segment is also a key contributor to the overall market. There is an increasing need for agility and flexibility in the industrial ecosystem due to declining product life-cycles. Increased innovative technical developments in consumer electronics is expected to provide positive avenues to market growth over the forecast period.
MCUs are included in several consumer electronics devices, which are projected to augment the MCU market growth. Increasing demand for devices which are compatible with Ethernet and Internet of Things (IoT) is also expected to provide positive avenues to market growth over the foreseeable period. Growing demand for microcontroller chips blended with wireless interface such as NFC, ZigBee and Bluetooth is also anticipated to drive the market growth. Furthermore, unfavorable macroeconomic conditions and moderately fragmented nature of the industry are estimated to slow down the market growth over the next five years. The global market was anticipated to be 17,393.64 million units in 2013, and is estimated to reach 39,108.54 million units by 2020, increasing at a CAGR of 12.34% from 2014 to 2020. On the basis of revenue, the market was esteemed at USD 16,697.19 million in 2013 and is estimated to reach USD 26,984.81 million by 2020, rising at a CAGR of 7.3% from 2014 to 2020.
Based on the thickness and width of the internal bus, microcontrollers are classified into 16-bit, 32-bit, and 4/8-bit. 32-bit MCU segment is ruled the market and accounted over 32% of the total market revenue in 2013. The 32-bit microcontroller segment is also estimated to grow at a fast pace over the forecasted period. Increasing popularity due to decrease in unit prices is estimated to drive 32-bit MCU market. The 16-bit MCU product was the second major product segment covered over 28% of the overall market revenue in 2013. They are used in various applications requiring greater power and faster processing speed requirements such as factory automation, medical applications, automotive, refrigeration, and air conditioning among others.
Application segments include consumer electronics, automotive, industrial and other applications such as communications and computers. Automotive is the leading application segment and valued for 31% of market volume in 2013 and is also estimated to be the fastest growing application segment over the foreseeable period. MCUs are used to attain fuel efficiency and emission control in hybrid electric vehicles. These vehicles offer an excess of environmental benefits and are gaining reputation, as a result boosting the demand for microcontrollers market. The industrial segment is the second major sector followed by automotive segment in terms of revenue share in 2013. In this industrial sector, microcontrollers allow feedback control mechanisms and industrial automation to shore up advanced sensors.
Asia Pacific was the largest market in 2013 and covered over 35% of the market on basis of revenue as well as volume. It is also estimated to show the maximum growth rate of 7.88% from 2014 to 2020. This can be credited to growing demand for consumer electronics and automobiles in this region. Outsourcing within this industry has also risen in the Asia Pacific market, which results in decreasing price of 32-bit and 16-bit chips.
Some key players operating in the global market include Microchip Technology Inc., Renesas Electronics Corporation, Texas Instruments, Dallas Semiconductor, Atmel Corp., Freescale Semiconductor, National Semiconductor, Fujitsu Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics, Samsung Semiconductor, Infineon Technologies, ZiLog, Silicon Labs, Fairchild Semiconductor, Analog Devices, and Intel Corp. among others.
Research Support Specialist, USA