According to Gartner, multimedia processor and portable audio/media processor integration has evolved from highly differentiated performance-based solutions to commodity application-specific standard products (ASSPs) with massive average selling price (ASP) erosion. The integration of features and functions will lead to competition for fewer, more-integrated IC sockets.
Gartner believes the stage is set for a shakedown in the multimedia processor market. Players in the set-top box, DVD recorder and home gateway markets will converge to compete, but the market will not be large enough. As a result, there will be significant attrition in this area that will leave two or three Tier 1 merchant IC vendors, along with two or three vertical vendors.
Functional integration will continue to provide clear benefits to the consumer — more features, better performance, lower costs and lower power use. However, this move toward integration is also creating significant challenges for IC vendors, which are competing for fewer, more-integrated ASSP sockets.