Press release

Annual Edge AI Processor Shipments Forecast to Reach 1.5 Billion Units by 2023, According to IDC

Sponsored by Businesswire

In its first forecast of Artificial Intelligence (AI) edge processors,
International Data Corporation (IDC)
estimates that worldwide shipments of AI-optimized processors for edge
systems will reach 340.1 million units in 2019, an increase of 170.0%
over 2018. By 2023, IDC expects the market will reach unit shipments of
1.5 billion and achieve a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR)
of 64.9%.

The emergence of AI is upending the microprocessor market. While the
development of general-purpose processors and graphic processor units
(GPUs) have brought tremendous compute capabilities to ever smaller,
more mobile, battery-powered devices, they are not ideal platforms for
neural network inferencing solutions. AI-optimized processors, both
discrete accelerators and host processors with neural network
accelerators integrated into the processor, drastically outperform
running AI solutions compared to general purpose architectures. Every
key supplier is trying to adopt by developing solutions that address the
new computing paradigm even as a new class of processing suppliers have
entered the market, including a range of venture-backed semiconductor
startups launching new IP and accelerators into the market.

The market opportunity for AI-optimized processors will increase as AI
solutions expand at the edge of the network and as AI workloads increase
beyond basic system optimization tasks and listening for wake words to
more valuable functions. In 2018, only 5.1% of edge systems running AI
included optimized processors. This penetration rate is expected to
reach 40.5% by 2023. Revenues for AI-optimized processors on the edge
are expected to reach $40.4 billion by 2023, with a CAGR of 86.4%.

For this forecast, edge systems include primary clients, such as PCs,
mobile phones, and tablets; edge infrastructure gateways and servers;
and endpoints and IoT devices deployed at the edge of enterprise,
government, and home networks. Some of the key application areas for
edge AI processors include automotive advanced driver assistant systems
(ADAS), gaming systems, smart home, and video surveillance. Other key
markets include industrial automation, medical devices, AR/VR devices,
and robots and drones.

“The success of AI resides in systems deployed to the edge, where
instant decisions made by neural networks can actually create value,
unfettered by latency and connectivity issues that can challenge
cloud-based solutions,” said Michael
J. Palma
, research director in IDC’s Enabling
Technologies and Semiconductor
research team. “But the promise of AI
at the edge depends on the development of highly efficient compute
processing elements, optimized for AI workloads, that support the
power-constrained nature of most edge systems. Currently, discrete
accelerators offer the greatest performance but add to BOM costs.
Eventual success will likely rest on the integration of AI-optimized
processing elements within host processors.”

The IDC report, Worldwide
Edge AI Processing Forecast, 2019–2023: A New Paradigm for Processors

(IDC #US43825519), examines the worldwide market for AI-optimized
processors for the 2018-2023 period. The report includes a five-year
growth forecast for 2019-2023.

For more information about IDC’s coverage of edge AI processing, please
contact Michael J. Palma at

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the
premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and
events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer
technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers
global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry
opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and
insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment
community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their
key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG),
the world’s leading media, data and marketing services company. To learn
more about IDC, please visit
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