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Some Stats from the 2017 Embedded Markets Survey

Each year, EE Times and embedded.com produce a study of embedded markets. This year’s edition, Integrating IoT and Advanced Technology Designs, Application Development & Processing Environments has a publication date of April 2017 on it, but the reference I saw on embedded.com was from mid-August. Whatever the case, there was a lot of interesting material in the study – so better late than never.

The online survey the study is based on had roughly 1,200 respondents (hardware, software, firmware engineers) from around the world and representing a wide range of industries and application areas. I’ve pulled out a few highlights from the study.

  • Fifty-percent of respondents reported that the IoT is important (from just plain important to critically important) to them and their organization.
  • The advanced technologies most in use in embedded systems currently under development were vision (50%), machine learning (25%), and embedded speech (22%).
  • For the current embedded projects worked on by survey participants, the top capabilities included were real-time (59%), digital signal processing (56%), and networking (54%).

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a kick out of seeing that more than half the current embedded projects are using DSP!

  • The ratio of time/money spent on embedded projects was 61% devoted to software, 39% to hardware development.
  • 19% of those surveyed purchased off-the-shelf circuit boards; 81% either designed or subcontracted the design of custom circuit boards.
  • C (56%) and C++ (22%) continue to dominate as languages.
  • Debugging (23%) and meeting schedules (23%) were two big development challenges.
  • The most important factor in determining processor selection was the availability of software development tools (70%).

Lots of other information contained in the report. If you’re curious about the types of projects other embedded engineers are working on, what tools they’re using, and their everyday concerns, this survey will be a goldmine.