Eric Heikkila's thoughts on ATCA

Last week in Hardware Corner, we talked a bit about IDC's ATCA market outlook, and this week, I interviewed Eric Heikkila, director of the embedded hardware and systems group at VDC Research Group. He has long been engaged in evaluating ATCA trends, and had the following thoughts:

On the potential for ATCA vendor consolidation: "I don't think you'll see a lot of that, because it's really already happened for the most part (with Emerson buying Motorola's Embedded Communications Group and RadiSys acquiring Intel's ATCA assets). So, you have had some pretty drastic consolidation already, and a couple of big players are now at the top of the market."

On big network equipment vendors and ATCA: "Alcatel-Lucent and Nortel have been the biggest network equipment provider proponents of ATCA and have already been moving their platforms onto ATCA standards. They are really the customers for embedded ATCA, and are working with those other ATCA technology companies to make that happen."

On carrier support for ATCA: "We are beginning to see the carriers get more involved. They go to their vendors with a list of requirements, and as long as it fits their dollar range, they are not so concerned about the technology. But what's happening now is that their business models are under attack from free services, and they are looking for ways to contain costs. Commercial-off-the-shelf components in general, and ATCA specifically, present one of the most obvious ways of supporting that need. In the end, what will drive more ATCA adoption is if the carriers demand it from their big suppliers."

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