Report projects embedded security semiconductor shipments to exceed 4 billion units by 2023

Infineon secure microcontroller
ABI Research projects shipments of secure embedded hardware, including secure microcontrollers (pictured here) and trusted platform modules, to double to over 4 billion units by 2023. (Infineon)

The growing need to embed security features in industrial and automotive applications is driving up demand for technologies such as secure microcontrollers (MCU) and trusted platform modules (TPM). According to market research firm ABI Research, global shipments of secure embedded hardware will double until 2023, surpassing 4 billion units.

According to ABI, trusted platform modules are starting to gain momentum in new industrial markets. The technology had already gained a strong foothold in the PC space, with almost 100% adoption for machines running Windows 10, and was experiencing static growth. “The renewed interest is coming from the industrial and automotive sector, in large part boosted by the release of TPM 2.0 in 2016, which adapted the technology to IoT scenarios,” said Michela Menting, Research Director of Digital Security at ABI Research, in a statement. “Infineon and STMicroelectronics are set to gain significantly in this reinvigorated market, with both offering dedicated TPM 2.0 solutions for embedded applications.”

The report notes that at the same time, the emergence of secure microcontrollers for the IoT market is gaining traction and is seeing demand in smart cities, homes and buildings, as well as in utilities and the industrial IoT. Improved processing and performance capabilities for MCUs has allowed the inclusion of security features that work well with embedded and deterministic imperatives. NXP and Renesas are both offering secure MCU platforms (Kinetis and Synergy respectively) that have proven successful since their release, according to ABI.

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Other strong contenders in the market for secure embedded hardware include Microchip, Cypress (soon to be part of Infineon), RedPine, Nuvoton, Maxim Integrated, Goodix, TI and MediaTek, the report said.

With declining ASPs and growing demand for secure silicon-to-cloud solutions, secure connectivity will have to be anchored in secure hardware for embedded systems. This will lead to strong growth for the global hardware security market going forward.

“As the semiconductor industry moves toward integrating ever more security features on smaller form-factors, competition in the space will increasingly focus on those hardware elements that can provide the best performance for tailored IoT applications,” Menting concludes.

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