Sales of xTCA boards are forecast to grow from $400 million in 2012, to over $700 million in 2016 according to a recently published report by IMSResearch, recently acquired by IHS Inc. "Although ATCA is projected to outsell PrAMCs, accounting for 85 percent of the xTCA market in 2016, all technologies have a part to play, as the application reach of each standard is a little different," commented report author Toby Colquhoun.
The majority (about 80 percent) of ATCA board revenues are to communications applications. Growth is closely tied to the performance of companies in this vertical. For example, the performance of tier 1 European communication equipment providers was weak in 2011, and consequently ATCA board revenues contracted from 2010.
By contrast, the flexibility of the microTCA platform means that about 50 percent of revenues are to other industries, such as military and transportation. As expenditure in these programmes runs over long periods, microTCA board revenues experienced strong growth between 2010 and 2011 in EMEA.
2012 to 2016, ATCA board revenues are forecast to grow strongly, as growth in economic activity and investment in communications infrastructure increases. Many companies have picked ATCA to support 4G deployments, and as more network operators offer this service, ATCA is poised to benefit.
Beyond 2016 the outlook for the ATCA standard is uncertain. Today, the transition to 40 GB Ethernet is well underway, but it remains to be seen if the standard has enough footprint to allow features that are likely to become key purchasing criteria. This includes support for multiple high performance processors and 100 GB Ethernet.