The overall market for slot single-board computers and embedded CPU Blades reached an estimated $1,360.3 mln in 2003, and is projected to increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.38% to $1,685.3 mln by 2008. Although VME currently represents the largest share of the SBC market, CompactPCI shipments are projected to overtake those of VME in 2005. This is primarily due to increased adoption of CompactPCI in the Military/Aerospace market. The paradigm shift to switch fabrics, high-speed serial interconnects and Blades is inevitable, and the era of shared, multidrop parallel buses on the backplane will end.
A recent spate of acquisitions and mergers has dramatically altered the competitive landscape. Examples include Motorola's acquisition of Force computers to create the Embedded Communications Computing Group, and several acquisitions by Curtiss-Wright, including VISTA Controls, Dy4 Systems and Synergy Microsystems, which created Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing. CompactPCI SBC shipments are projected to peak in 2005, and to slowly decline thereafter as ATCA takes an increasing share of the Communications market. PCI/ISA hybrid SBCs, including PICMG 1.0, are expected to show the strongest growth over the forecast period. As CPU speed and power continues to increase, the need for use of full-blown RTOSs will decline.