UBM survey shows interesting trends in prototyping

UBM released some of the findings of its annual Embedded Study at a special press breakfast on Tuesday at Design West, with some fascinating potential for engineers looking to make the "next big thing" in electronics. The first surprising bit of information is that 26 percent of the respondents reported they were using in-house and Linux-based RTOSes with grow-your-own systems jumping 30 percent.  This is bad news for proprietary commercial providers who have traditionally seen in-house software as its primary competitor.  The primary reason for the jump is the engineers prefer software where they can access the full source code.  That one bit of information should be good news for commercial provider Micrium (element14 supplier) that does offer the source code.

More importantly for developers is the news for Arduino.  The survey asked what chip the are considering using in their next project and 15 percent said Arduino boards.  Holland said the respondents may not have understood the question, since Arduino is not a chip but a board, but a couple of slides later, Holland pointed out that the number of engineers planning on using an FPGA in their next project dropped... by about the same number of engineers.  One could make the correlation that Arduino development boards are replacing FPGAs at least in prototyping.

After the breakfast, Jeff Jussel, senior director for technical marketing at element14, said he could see that correlation when you look at the rising sale of Arduino boards from element14.  "It makes sense," he stated.