Advances in semiconductor technology have played an essential part in the development of the consumer electronics sector, worldwide. Electronic and digital devices can function at different voltage levels. Typically, it is advisable to interconnect two devices that can operate on equal operating voltages. For instance, connecting a 5V microcontroller to a device that operates at 3.3V could cause damage to the circuit or the device. In certain cases, connecting devices operating with the same voltage levels may not guarantee desirable results – presenting the need for level shifters. A level shifter is a technique deployed to ensure that the two connected devices with different operational voltages are compatible.
Over the past decade, 1.8V, 3.3V, and 5V have emerged as the three most common voltage levels within transistor-transistor logic (TTL) devices. As these voltage levels have gained worldwide acceptance, it is imperative to able to shift from one voltage level to another, to ensure the integration of various systems. Level shifters are critical to ensure that the differing voltage between the receiving and sending signals does not lead to downtime. As per TMR analysis, the level shifters market is expected to generate revenue of ~US$ 1.4 billion in 2019.
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High Demand for Power-efficient Unidirectional Variants in Level Shifters Market
In the current scenario, some of the best known and common electronic platforms operate at 5V. However, there are times when the integration of a high-end sensor may be required that operates at a lower voltage (3.3V), thus, creating the need to use level shifters. The adoption of unidirectional level shifters is experiencing significant growth, as these require less amount of power and simultaneously ensure the desired sound insulation between the input and output. The adoption of input-protected unidirectional devices simplifies the process of high to low-level translation, and enhances the signal-to-noise margin. Further, unidirectional variants minimize the number of components in a circuit, which, in turn, reduces costs. Owing to these benefits, the unidirectional level shifters segment is forecast to generate ~US$ 1.1 billion in 2027, up from ~US$ 885 million in 2019, in the global level shifters market space.
Efficient and Swift Two-stage Shifters Gain Traction in Level Shifters Market
Within modern level shifter circuits and system on chips (SoCs), numerous voltage domains are present, which enable various domain voltages to be combined together. Level shifter circuits are integral components of such a SoCs, as they enable the accurate interpretation of low voltage signals to high voltage signals, and vice versa. At present, trends in the consumer and tech industry suggest that, there is a shift toward lower voltages to ensure power-efficiency. However, converting voltage that is below the threshold level to a VDD signal becomes a challenge in such situations. However, advances in the field have paved the way for the efficient conversion of low voltage. For instance, the two-stage infrastructure introduced by Wilson addresses the problems associated with slow conversions, and offers energy efficiency and swift conversion rates. Key participants operating in the level shifters market are expected to up their investments toward research & development activities to improve the efficiency of their products, so as to provide cost-effective and power-efficient solutions. Further, companies involved in the level shifters market are expected to focus on overcoming the shortcomings of conventional shifter circuit designs.
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Soaring Demand for Cell Phones to Present Host of Opportunities
Recent advancements in the cell phone sector have compelled players operating in the current level shifters market to adapt to the evolving technologies, and provide compatible solutions. Further, cell phone manufacturers are enhancing their production capabilities by leaning toward state-of-the-art technologies, by updating the microcontrollers using I/O pins that require level shifters in conjunction with general-purpose input/output (GPIO) expanders.
Further, the demand for level shifters to attain energy-efficiency in battery-constraint devices such as cellphones is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period (2019-2027). The cell phones segment accounted for just over 40% of the total revenue share in the level shifters market in 2018, and by the end of 2027, it is projected to account for around 42% of the total share in terms of value. In addition, in the past few years, power consumption within handheld devices has been a major parameter – a factor that has boosted the demand for level shifters within the cell phone sector.
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