Outside of the hobbyist ecosystem, what is the actual market size for new, non-legacy, ICs with a maximum Vcc of ~5V ?
I've just picked up a few of the new Microchip 1Mbit SPI RAM ICs:
and I was utterly amazed to see them available in this 5V capable packaging.
This is a product range which until now has topped out at 3.6V maximum and the inputs were not even 5V tolerant on those earlier devices. Yet here in2013, Microchip has released a new set of parts in this range which are not only 5V I/O tolerant, but actually run at 5V as well. To my mind, it would be like Microchip, say, suddenly deciding to create a PIC32 range which runs at 5V.
They clearly would not do this unless there was a market for them, but I am just puzzled what that market is. If this was for the hobbyist market only I would have expected them to carry on saying "use one of our 3.6V devices with a level shifter".
Even in the hobbyist market however many of the newer devices you might want to interface with are increasingly 3.3V only (and without 5V tolerant inputs either in many cases) so even as a hobbyist I am moving down into the 3.3V MCU world anyway.
Observations/non-hobbyist viewpoints welcome. :-)