Are you a budding electronics professional? And confused about selecting the right path to achieve your dream job? A lot depends on your capabilities. The statistics suggest microcontroller-related skillsets as the ones in demand by the industry. Before you acquire them, consider the following commandments for your survival.
A brief on micro-controllers
In simple words, microcontrollers are tiny computer-like processors that make electronics products intelligent. These are required for all electronic control units. To cite an example, an average consumer uses about 100 microcontroller-enhanced products ranging from microwave oven to copier and phone at workplace and remote control for television viewing at home.
According to Databeans, 32-bit microcontrollers are growing the fastest, at a compound growth rate of 16 per cent each year. Shares of 4-bit and 8-bit microcontrollers have been declining, while that of 16-bit device controllers have accelerated.
The Indian scenario
Currently, the Indian semiconductor market represents only one per cent of the $280-billion global market. But you may be surprised to know that it is growing faster than the global average.
“The use of microcontrollers is now increasing steadily as numerous applications now use electronic control. Applications ranging from entertainment to power train and body electronics increasingly use electronic control circuits for better reliability and performance. Severe competition, stringent pollution and safety norms, and fuel economy are some of the factors influencing the automotive industry to look for new technologies using electronic controls,” says Anil Kumar, president of Indian Printed Circuit Association (IPCA).
The subcontracting of microcontroller design work to Indian companies has been prevalent for more than a decade now. Microcontroller-related designing (both software and hardware) indirectly contributes to 20-30 per cent of a company’s revenues.
However, the new trend in the last five years has been the setting up of subsidiaries in India by multinational OEMs such as Microchip Technology, Texas Instruments, Infineon and Freescale Semiconductor to capture the embedded control solutions market for consumer, automotive, office-automation, communications and industrial control electronics.
32-bit microcontrollers are growing the fastest, at a compound growth rate of 16 per cent each year. Shares of 4-bit and 8-bit microcontrollers have been declining, while that of 16-bit device controllers have accelerated.
According to NASSCOM, in India, $750 million were spent on R&D of embedded systems in year 2006. The figure would rise to $1.1 billion by 2009. This is, however, just a minuscule portion of the global opportunity that is waiting to be tapped.
The growing demand for better energy management is expected to increase adoption of digitally programmable microcontroller solutions in motor, lighting and power related applications.