According to VDC, the major open standard architectures are dominating the Computer-On-Modules (COMs) market. Based on the data from their latest edition of the study (Global Market Analysis of Merchant Computer Boards for Embedded & Real-Time Applications), the major open standard architectures – which include ETX, COM Express, DIMM-PC, and SOM-144 – were responsible for 65% of the total COM modules market in 2005. This percentage is expected to increase to 70% in 2007, taking five percentage points of market share away from proprietary architectures.
COM Module Shipments, Architecture Classes, 2005 & 2007
(% of Dollar Volume Shipments)
Open architectures are becoming increasing popular in the market for COM modules because they provide greater flexibility and capability than the proprietary architectures that originally gave rise to the COM module market. Proprietary architectures are still expected to experience growth of 27.7% over the 2005 to 2007 period, however, open architectures are projected to grow much more rapidly at a rate of 61.1%.
The rapid growth rate of open architecture COM modules, which will yield them a greater share of the total COM modules market by 2007, is attributable to the success of recent standards such as COM Express and ETX. ETX, and more recently COM Express, have successfully formalized standards that address the requirements of users, while also achieving widespread acceptance. ETX has already been widely adopted and COM Express is expected to follow suit as the newer standard continues to gain momentum toward widespread adoption.
Before establishing ETX (and now COM Express) as widespread standards, the COMs market stumbled a bit because an overabundance of different form factors caused market confusion. It appears that much of this is on the way to sorting itself out and the COMs market will be able to continue its healthy rate of growth.