Selecting the right MCU for your next internet of things applications

Posted On Nov, 27, 2020

Over the last decade, the IoT MCU market has experienced a gradual transformation from 8-bit MCUs to 32-bit MCUs. Internet of Things (IoT) appears to have significantly influenced microcontroller technology. In a recent market research report examining the global IoT Microcontroller (MCU) market, Grand View Research states that the market size is expected to reach USD 3,561.7 million by 2022. Increased pressure on systems designers to design innovative products and provide breakthrough solutions consistently, provides avenues for future growth. A nexus of connected devices such as security systems, smart meters, gaming consoles, home appliances, tablets, televisions, and smartphones has led to microcontroller miniaturization and is anticipated to impact the IoT microcontroller demand.

Many connected devices operate on batteries for months or even years without any battery replacement or maintenance and requires energy efficient IoT end-node applications. The lowering cost of components such as processors and sensors coupled with increasing wireless connectivity has culminated to products which are smart and can communicate with each other without human intervention.

IoT Microcontroller (MCU) market set to reach US$ 3,561.7 million by 2022

With the advancements, commercialization and innovations of an array of products ranging from advanced medical monitoring systems to sensors in automobiles, this industry is poised to grow over the next few years. Demand for consumer electronics such as wellness devices, smart watches, and other wearable electronic devices, which is poised to increase at a CAGR over 9% over the forecast period.

The challenge of efficient battery system

The key problem faced by IoT MCU market is the demand for simple power consumption batteries. The sensors used rely heavily on batteries, some of which are even expensive, high maintenance and toxic to the environment. Therefore, microcontroller suppliers have to focus on efficient energy harvesting designs and solutions that obliterate the demand for fixed power sources in those devices. The providers of the Internet of things also face the challenge of security. Thus, they also have to focus on the development of solutions, which do not require complex gateways and network set-up.

Emerging Market for 32-bit microcontrollers

32-bit microcontrollers find an array of applications in the internet of things devices compared to 8-bit and 16-bit microcontrollers. According to, Grand View Research report, the 32-bit segment accounted for the over 30% of the overall market share in 2014.The processors for the internet of things application provide reading sensors, data throughput and send real-time sensor data over an IP-based network. High RAM size and better performance coupled with minimal price difference instigate buyers to opt for 32-bit processors rather than 8-bit and 16-bit processors.

North America IoT MCU market

North America is forecast to witness high growth rate compared to other regions. Burgeoning demand for connected devices is the primary factor behind the regional market growth. Further, the adoption of MCU supporting IoT devices by major manufacturers and tremendous technological advancements has led to the high penetration of technology in the North American market. Emerging regions such as India and China are also anticipated to witness significant growth.

IoT MCU market competitive landscape

The semiconductor industry is projected to benefit from the expansion of IoT devices. These products present high growth figures, but since they mostly appeal to the niche markets they face the predicament of low sales and volumes Thus, in spite of the prosperity that this market is poised to witness, some of the semiconductor manufacturers hesitate to make high investments in this sector. Silicon Labs, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Infineon Technologies, Broadcom Corporation, Microchip Technology Inc, NXP Semiconductors, ARM, and Atmel Corporation are some of the major companies operating in this market.

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