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Industrial Ethernet suffers modest decline

22 August, 2009

More than five million Ethernet nodes were installed in industrial automation networks during 2008, but the number is likely to fall to less than 4.7 million in 2009, according to new report from IMS Research. The study also predicts that industrial Ethernet networking installations will grow by over 10% a year from 2011.

“Although the worldwide downturn in industrial activity will reduce the number of new nodes being installed in 2009, the percentage decline is less than for industrial automation as a whole, indicating that Ethernet is continuing to gain favour with users”, comments the report’s author, John Morse.

“This is a fast-changing market,” he adds. “Despite the worldwide industrial slowdown, the next five years will see dramatic changes in the way Ethernet is used in industrial automation.”

The report estimates that more than half of the Ethernet nodes used in industrial automation applications are of the standard Ethernet TCP/IP variety. However, new installations of dedicated industrial variants are projected to grow by 40% between 2008 and 2013.
The report also estimates that the global market for industrial Ethernet infrastructure components was worth $720m in 2008, but is likely to fall to around $650m in 2009.

♦  Another IMS report predicts that the global market for industrial PCs will shrink by more than 11% during 2009, with revenues from the automotive sector, the biggest user of IPCs, falling by more than 15%. The market, which was worth $1.9bn in 2008, is expected to start recovering next year, and to return to 2008 levels by the second half of 2012.

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