In Jeff Bier’s latest column, “Jeff Bier’s Impulse Response―Is the Long Tail Getting Longer for Chip Suppliers?” he relates the retail industry to the electronic equipment industry by explaining that the long tail isn’t just getting longer in America’s most popular retail chains, but also for chip suppliers. The idea is that, over time, the total number of embedded processors sold annually won’t be dominated by the high-volume iPads of the world anymore, but instead a large number of innovative, smaller-volume products customized for the needs of users. Having spent this weekend demonstrating the BeagleBone to the attenders of Maker Faire in San Mateo, I can clearly see that this is a very strong trend!
BeagleBone, based on TI’s Sitara™ AM335x ARM® Cortex-A8 processor, offers developers a low-entry development platform to create more niche products. Since its release in October of last year, BeagleBone has helped developers across the world develop a wide range of products. Ninja Blocks easy-to-use Internet-of-things device and OpenROV open-source underwater robot for exploration and education are both great examples of innovative products demonstrated at Maker Faire that use the BeagleBone to satisfy new needs in a quick and affordable way without high volumes.
Do you think the tail is getting longer? What do you feel will drive both innovation and volume for the next wave of affordable embedded processors?
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