Digital isolators are complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) circuit based isolators. They offer several benefits over traditionally used optocouplers, such as power savings and higher data rates among others. Isolation is incorporated for meeting various regulations, along with reducing noises and overall cost, among others. Selection of a digital isolator is generally based upon three factors, namely structure, insulating material used and data transfer method. While light from light emitting diodes (LEDs) is used by traditional optocouplers, a digital isolator transfers data across isolation barriers by utilizing capacitors or transformers to capacitively or magnetically couple the data. Insulating materials plays a vital role in digital isolator selection, as not all types are suited for all applications. Polyimide and polymers have been the preferred choice of insulators in isolators. Compared to optocouplers, digital isolators uses advanced form of circuits, which consumes much lesser power, has much higher data transfer rates and also can successfully handle complex interfaces.
The market for digital isolator is growing at a high rate, primarily owing to the various advantages offered by these isolators, over optocouplers. Digital isolators are comparatively longer lasting, utilizes less power and can offer data rates of above 100 Mbps. Optocouplers consumes much higher amount of power and has quite low data rates. Such better attributes have been driving the market for digital isolators. Additionally, the growing demand for advanced electronics, having less noise, across most industry verticals have also been positively impacting the market for digital isolators. Furthermore, growing industrial automation, across the globe, has also being driving the growth of the market. Considering all the positive impacts of the above mentioned factors, the market for digital isolator is expected to grow at a very fast pace.
The global digital isolator market can be segmented, on the basis of channels, into single channel, double channel, triple channel, quad channel and others. Digital isolators with quad channels are being used for various types of applications, including areas where precision performance is of utmost importance. By insulation of digital isolators, the market is divided into three types. They are polyimide, silicon di-oxide and others. Polyimide insulated digital isolators are the most prevalent type, owing to various advantageous features offered by such insulation. Polyimide insulation increases working life of the isolator and can also be applied as a thin film. On the basis of data rate, the global digital isolator market is segmented into up to 25 Mbps, above 25 Mbps – 75 Mbps and Above 75 Mbps. The market has been further segmented, on the basis of end-use industry, in to aerospace & defense, automotive, consumer electronics, healthcare and others. The global digital isolator market has again being segmented into five regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), South America and Middle-East & Africa (MEA). By revenue, North America had the largest market share in 2015, followed by Asia Pacific and Europe. Growing demand for industrial automation and increasing demand for less noise in communication technology equipments are the primary reasons for North America being the top revenue garner. Asia Pacific is the second highest revenue garner in the digital isolator market owing to the growing manufacturing base and growing inclination towards industrial automation.
The major companies of the digital isolator market globally are Texas Instruments, Inc. (U.S.) Analog Devices, Inc. (U.S.), Silicon Laboratories, Inc. (U.S.), Broadcom Corporation (U.S.), Infineon Technologies AG (Germany), Maxim Integrated (U.S.), ROHM Co., Ltd. (Japan), Vicor Corporation (U.S.), NXP Semiconductors, N.V. (The Netherlands) and Murata Manufacturing, Co. Ltd. (Japan) among various others. Some of the strategies adopted by these companies, to remain competitive in the market, include innovations through R&D, acquisitions, mergers and partnership with other companies amongst other strategies.