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(PRWEB) September 11, 2002

Natick, Massachusetts - Traditionally, usage of PowerPC CPUs has dominated in COTS Military and Aerospace applications, but there are indications that this is changing.

A recent study by Venture Development Corporation, entitled "The North American Market for Embedded COTS Systems in Military, Aerospace and Defense", found that PowerPC CPUs were used in 62.6% of current shipments of merchant COTS Single Board Computers and CPU modules shipped to these markets. Intel CPUs were used in 26.7% of shipments of these boards. This was in line with expectations.

This data was obtained through extensive interviews with leading vendors of these boards. These vendors indicated that they anticipated little change in this distribution through year 2006.

VDC also conducted a survey among purchasers of these boards, including Defense Contractors and Subcontractors, OEMs, Systems Integrators, and the like. The results of this survey, as regards CPU usage, were substantially different.

Users were asked to identify COTS projects in which their firms were involved, which had been started in 2001 or 2002. They were also asked to list the CPU types included in SBCs and CPU modules purchased for these projects. PowerPC CPUs represented only 41.9% of identified types, while Intel CPUs represented 36.5%. Reported usage of "other" CPU types (MIPS, AMD, etc.) was also substantially higher among users than among vendors.

CPU Types Used in COTS Single Board Computers and CPU Modules

Vendor Data

PowerPC: 62.6%

Intel: 26.7%

Sparc: 4.3%

Other Types: 6.4%

User Data

PowerPC: 41.9%

Intel: 36.5%

Sparc: 5.4%

Other Types: 16.2%

J. Eric Gulliksen, Project Director at VDC, pointed out that these discrepancies are due to differing reporting parameters. "Vendor-supplied data refers to current board shipments, which comprise fairly high volumes. User-supplied data, on the other hand, refers to projects currently in the development stage. Therefore, these differences are indicative of a trend toward increased usage of Intel and 'other' microprocessor types, as these development projects approach fruition and production."

A similar, and even more dramatic, shift was seen between data obtained from vendors and users of integrated systems/subsystems, lending additional credibility to these observations.

CPU Types Used in COTS Integrated Systems and Subsystems

Vendor Data

PowerPC: 46.6%

Intel: 34.1%

Sparc: 6.1%

Other Types: 13.2%

User Data

PowerPC: 25.0%

Intel: 55.8%

Sparc: 3.8%

Other Types: 15.4%

To view the entire press release including charts go to

Although the nature of the user data (projects in development) precludes its use in accurately quantifying future shipments, VDC is confident that this trend is real. Suppliers of COTS boards and systems should, therefore, watch these developments closely, and be prepared to quickly offer Intel-based product when the need arises.

September 2002



The report, "The North American Market for Embedded COTS Systems in Military, Aerospace and Defense", is a multiclient study designed to provide subscribers with relevant and up-to-date market intelligence to support strategic marketing and product planning decisions. This report includes:

Forecasts of shipments of COTS computer boards, integrated systems/subsystems, RTOSs and software development tools;

Segmentations by bus architecture/form factor, board types, end user applications, CPU and OS usage, etc.;

Issues and technology trends that will affect the future of this market;

DoD budget allocations;

Extensive user-generated data, including number of COTS projects begun, engineers per design team, technical considerations and requirements, etc.;

Discussion of the COTS process, industry structure, and the influences generated by the various types of participants;

Vendor market shares and profiles;

Recommendations providing insight into current and future opportunities in this marketplace.


Venture Development Corporation, a technology market research and strategy firm, was founded in 1971 by graduates of Harvard Business School and MIT. Over the years, VDC has developed and fine-tuned a unique and highly successful methodology for forecasting and analyzing dynamic technology markets. VDC has extensive experience in providing analysis of electronic components markets. This includes multiclient and custom consulting engagements in a broad spectrum of related topics including embedded hardware and software, relays, switches, RFID, AIDC, MEMS, sensors, telecommunications, and others.


Report Availability


For further information regarding the "The North American Market for Embedded COTS Systems in Military, Aerospace and Defense" contact:

J. Eric Gulliksen, Project Director -

Marc Regberg, Senior Vice President -

If you would like to subscribe to more VDC updates go to:

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