A phase locked loop is a closed loop system that is made up of phase comparator, voltage controlled oscillator and a loop filter. It operates in three states free running, capture, and phase lock. Before the input is applied, a phase locked loop is in a free running state. After the input frequency is applied, its frequency starts changing and it is said to be in the capture mode. The frequency of oscillator continuous to change until it equals the input frequency and the phase locked loop is said to be in phase lock mode. In the system, the voltage controlled oscillator produces a sinusoidal signal whose operating frequency is controlled by its input voltage.
The phase detector produces an error signal that is proportional to the phase error. The low pass filter removes the noise and undesired output from the phase detector and also regulates the dynamics of phase locked loop. Thus, the voltage controlled oscillator produces a periodic signal, and the phase detector matches the phase of the input periodic signal with that of the oscillator’s signal thereby adjusting it to keep the phases coordinated. Consequently, the phase locked loop tracks the phase of input signal with some phase error which is ideally kept very small. It is one of the most versatile building blocks in radio frequency electronics and is extensively used in telecommunications, radio, etc. among other applications.
Major factor driving the phase locked loop market include its heavy use in communication applications, mostly for generating a signal of a certain frequency or keeping a communications signal locked on a given frequency. For example, nearly all transceivers employ phase locked loop devices to synthesize the high-frequency oscillations needed for wireless and communications.
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Limitations affecting the phase locked loop market is the high cost associated to it. In general, a phase locked loop-based clock driver costs two to five times as much as a gate-based clock driver. The complexity of the circuit and the specified speed at which the voltage controlled oscillator must operate make it an expensive component. However, in spite of the high cost, it is expected to be increasingly used in RF applications owing to its benefits including dynamic tracking of system performance, dynamic loop bandwidth, etc.
Factors anticipated to provide opportunities to the phase locked loop market include its increasing use in space communication for threshold extension, coherent signal tracking, bit synchronization and symbol synchronization. Recovery of small signals as well as clock timing information from a data stream are a few major advantages aiding the growth of phase locked loop in space applications.
The phase locked loop market can be classified on the basis of type, application, and geography. In terms of type, the phase locked loop market can be segmented into analog, digital, and hybrid phase locked loop. Based on application, the market can be segmented into frequency multiplication, frequency translation, AM detection, FM detection, FSK demodulation, and others. Based on geography, the phase locked loop market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), Middle East & Africa (MEA), and South America. North America and Asia Pacific are expected to be highly attractive regions for the phase locked loop market owing to the presence of large number of semiconductor manufacturers in these regions.
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Prominent players operating in the phase locked loop market include Texas Instruments, Inc., Analog Devices Inc., NXP Semiconductors N.V., ON Semiconductor Corp, Integrated Device Technology, Inc., Microchip Technology Incorporated, Maxim Integrated Products, Inc., STMicroelectronics N.V., Semtech Corporation, Microsemi Corporation, Skyworks Solutions, Inc., Qorvo, Inc., Exar Corporation, Silicon Laboratories Inc., Atmel Corporation, and Cypress Semiconductor Corporation.