Coreless transformers were introduced in 2003 by Infineon Technologies. This transformer technology generally utilizes copper spirals, silicon oxide insulation and two chips, one receiver and one transmitter among other components. The primary difference of a coreless transformer, from a traditional transformer, is the lack of a magnetic core. Previously, magnetic core based power converters were most popularly used. However, advantages such as lower cost of production and higher power density have led to higher adoption of coreless transformer technology. Coreless transformers are based upon integrated passive device technology, used to design integrated passive components, and is manufactured through semiconductor manufacturing techniques. It enables reduction in size of the transformers and also lowering of manufacturing cost. Coreless transformer technology enables active shutdown, when the power supply and drivers are not connected, and also has under voltage lockout (UVLO) feature enabled for insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) and metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs) among others. Coreless transformers also offer galvanic isolation, a process through which the functional sections of electrical systems are isolated to prevent flow of current. Traditional level-shift technology based transformers don’t offer galvanic isolation, and thus often leads to malfunction of ICs and excessive dissipation of power.
The market for coreless transformer technology is primarily being driven by several advantages offered by these transformers, over traditional transformers. Advantages offered by coreless transformers include higher density of power, lack of magnetic core leads to omission of limitations offered by such cores, absence of magnetic loss, can be developed in microcircuits and lower manufacturing cost among others. Such advantages have been promoting the application of coreless transformer technology in isolation amplifiers, micro-circuits and totem-pole gate drives among others. Additionally, modern electronics demands higher amount of power which can be efficiently provided by these transformers. Furthermore, modern electronics demand compact power converters, for utilizing smaller space. Coreless transformers are designed on planar magnetics and thus consume much lesser space than traditional power converters. However, the presence of parasitic capacitance, in between the primary and secondary windings of the coreless transformer technology leads to improper dissipation of power. This error is significantly reduced by changing the number of windings or by using a insulating substance in between the windings. Hence this factor is not deemed as a significant restraint for this market. The growing demand for various electronic devices, across the globe, is expected to offer unique growth opportunities for the coreless transformer technology market.
On the basis of structure types of coreless transformers, the market has been segmented into three types, namely planar coreless transformer, stacked coreless transformer and others. Stacked coreless transformer segment was the largest segment in 2015, owing to their different types and wide applications in a variety of electronic products. By applications, the market has been segmented into micro circuits, totem-pole gate drives, isolation amplifiers, programmable logic controllers (PLC), distributed control systems (DCS) and others. The global coreless transformer market has again being segmented into five regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America and Middle-East & Africa (MEA). Revenue wise, Asia Pacific was the largest region in 2016 and is expected to retain its leading position during the forecast period. The larger market share of Asia Pacific can be attributed to the higher semiconductor manufacturing in this region and high growth of electronics usage. North America was the second largest regional segment in 2016, followed by Europe.
The major companies of the coreless transformers market globally are Infineon Technologies, AG (Germany), Texas Instruments, Inc. (The U.S.), ROHM Semiconductor (Japan), STMicroelectronics N.V. (Switzerland), Dabo Corporation (South Korea), and Diversified Technologies, Inc. (The U.S.), among various other companies.
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