Processors are the key technology enabling current and future innovations.
What do artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things and autonomous vehicles all have in common? Besides all being transformative technologies that are reshaping the world, these innovations also share another trait: they are all enabled by processors— the necessary devices that serve as the semiconductor brains for billions of electronic systems around the world.
Processors come in many different forms, including standalone microprocessors (MPUs), microcontrollers (MCUs), graphics processing units (GPUs) and network infrastructure processors.
They also are used as cores on larger system-on-chip (SOC) devices that integrate the main functionality of electronic systems. SOCs are at the heart of all kinds of products, providing essential electronics for everything from cars, to smartphones, to billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices
As a result, the SOC market is massive, generating $56 billion in revenue in 2019, a total that will rise to $70 billion in 2023.
MCUs represent the highest-volume segment of the processor market, with global shipments rising to 30 billion units in 2023. A fast-growing segment of the processor market is the network infrastructure processor segment, which is expected to grow to more than $17.2 billion in 2023.
Processor-equipped SOCs enable 5G revolution SOCs represent a key enabler of 5G capabilities in smartphones, providing essential processing and modem functions required to support the nascent high-speed wireless air standard. The wireless segment represents the largest target market for SOCs, with $25.3 billion in revenue in 2019.