I'm working on a small group project of 25 units using ESP-12F controllers that I need to fit into a relatively tight space. The project communicates with some WS2812b LEDs and takes a 5V power source due to brightness needed. Got in a bit over my head as I know enough to be dangerous, but haven't done as much soldering since the late 90s.
The ESP8266 in the ESP-12F outputs 3.3V logic, and while this "can" work on the WS2812B LEDs, it's out of spec and I've found it to be very touchy, so I need to bump the logic up to 5V (technically 3.5 to meet the LED specs, but that would mean handling a third voltage).
WS2812B LED data takes 1uA at 70% of the 5V VDD LED input (3.5v minimum on logic) by spec, 800kbps data rate with a rise and fall required for each bit and bit data determined by the duration high, so switching needs to be at 0.4us as the minimum required flip. Latency is not an issue as long as the timing between switching is fine. Specs for considering the line level low require a voltage below 30% of the 5V LED input voltage, or 1.5V. if I drop VDD for 70% of it to be 3.3v or less (4.7V VDD), I lose the brightness it needs.
I have found plenty of multi-channel logic level shifters on boards, but they come at 15mm or more of board size. I've also found non-inverting buffers, and found that I need a TC version to deal with input at 3.3v and output at five, but the TSOP-5 package (0.65mm pin pitch SMC) is a bit beyond my capability to solder to wires by hand. I might be able to do a SOT-23 package by hand, but unsure, and I didn't find such a package with appropriate logic specs anywhere. From there it appears to leap to DIP14 with 4+ channels, which is too big to fit in the project.
Is there any good way to get the 3.3v output of the ESP-12F bumped to 5V for the LED data lines but in a package that is somewhere in between the way-too-small TSOP-5 and the too-big 12x15mm board? I'm open to multiple components and have a bit more depth to work with, but in general need to keep the package as small as workably-possible within 10x10x10mm with connections included.
Edit: Trying to get the question within the specs of this community so that I don't have to give up on this project for the kids. I am not asking for a specific part from a specific vendor, just asking for insight on a way to do it between the physical size limit and old man eyesight soldering capability limits. Prior to looking at a number of other questions here, I did not know about non-inverting buffers for example, so there is probably plenty more I don't know about in my quest to get this project working for these kids. Unfortunately every question/answer set that I found regarding logic level shifting here on this site was very specific to a particular precise requirement problem and the solutions provided could not be extrapolated or generalized to my particular problems because there is nothing on how or why it works, making them a black box to me and with very few spare parts of certain things I'm not keen on frying parts. Then the few questions whose answers would have helped me not have to ask were closed so they couldn't get answers.
I'm also trying to get answers that are more generalized to "bump up the high speed data logic level in a medium-sized package" rather than just the fact that the specific chip can handle 3.6v and thus would put out logic at 3.6V (which is honestly probably what I'll do at this point, despite the over-voltage putting the component on the edge of specs with no margin for error to pad against premature failure that would break a kid's heart), since anybody else looking for a medium-sized converter might have something that can't handle 3.6V and the general information could be useful for them. I didn't know about line buffers until I found a general answer here for example.
There are a few comment reply items that sound promising and I will try to ask for an understanding of why/how it works in reply to those comments. A huge thanks to the folks who are trying to help. It's greatly appreciated.
If this question is still not good enough, could somebody at least refer me to a place that is able to help hobbyist neophytes with this level of lack of understanding and no official training?
Note that the original poster is asking how to translate a 3.3V logic signal to something greater than 3.5V. Everyone is commenting on the lack of LED specifications because they don't realize that WS2812B LED data input is a logic signal and thus does NOT drive the LED directly.