San Francisco, Calif. - The global field programmable gate array (FPGA) market is forecast to reach $9,882.5 million by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. The key growth driver over the next six years is increasing demand for consumer electronics, including smartphones.
The report, FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) Market Analysis By Application (Automotive, Consumer Electronics, Data Processing, Industrial, Military And Aerospace, Telecom) And Segment Forecasts To 2020, also finds that growing electronics content in automobiles along with further adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) will contribute to growth over the forecast period from 2014 to 2020.
Consumer electronics accounted for more than 12 percent of the market in 2013, and is expected to grow faster than the global average over the next six years, said the market researcher. However, telecom is expected to remain the largest and fastest growing application segment over the forecast period, at an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8 percent.
One of the biggest factors spurring FPGA demand across applications is device miniaturization, according to the report. A few of those growth opportunity applications include wireless networks and medical imaging. In particular, medical imaging poses a growth opportunity because FPGAs, offering a high degree of flexibility, are reprogrammable and reusable. However, ASICs as viable FPGA substitutes may hamper growth over the next six years, according to report analysts.
In terms of regional growth, Asia Pacific accounted for more than 40 percent of the global market share in 2013 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.6 percent over the forecast period. Safety regulations in automobiles also is projected to drive FPGA adoption in developed markets such as Europe.
Xilinx and Altera continue to retain their leadership in the FPGA market through innovations. One case in point is Altera’s FPGAs with embedded CPU architecture for storage in the cloud and high performance computing. The company’s new storage reference design, based on its Arria 10 SoCs, is said to double the life of NAND flash and can increase the number of program-erase cycles by up to 7X compared to current NAND flash implementations.
The reference design includes an Arria 10 SoC with an integrated dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, in an optimized single-chip solution, leveraging a solid-state disk (SSD) controller from Mobiveil and NAND optimization software from NVMdurance.
"Until now, it was not possible to make the economics of FPGA flash storage work," said Robert Pierce, Altera’s senior marketing manager, compute and storage business unit, in a statement. "Our Arria 10 SoC-based solution will make architects rethink how storage is deployed in the cloud and in high-performance computing systems—opening up new ways to innovate and extend a company's investment, while providing the fast time-to-market that can be a competitive differentiator."
But Xilinx and Altera aren’t the only players focused on developing advanced and high performance technologies and products. Other companies including Atmel Corporation, Freescale Semiconductor, Lattice Semiconductor, and Microsemi Corporation continue to make inroads through new product developments.
As an example, targeting the growing automotive electronics market, Microsemi’s new family of automotive-grade SoC FPGAs and FPGAs, the SmartFusion2 and IGLOO2 devices, have achieved AEC-Q100 grade 2 qualification. These devices meet the requirements of this market for high reliability and security for zero defect and tamper-free applications, said the company.
"The automotive market for semiconductors is forecast to grow to $31.4 billion in 2015, from $29.4 billion in 2014, an increase of almost seven percent," said Colin Barnden, principal analyst at Semicast Research, in a statement. "In comparison, we see the market for semiconductors in vehicle connectivity and ADAS growing at more than 20 percent in 2015. Microsemi's SmartFusion2 and IGLOO2 devices bring world class security features to the automotive industry and will address several challenges such as hacking, malicious tampering and data theft faced by system designers in creating safe and secure systems for the connected automobile of the future."