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23 January 2008


Lumileds recalls TFFC Luxeons and halts packaging until March

Courtesy of LEDs Magazine

In a letter to a small proportion of its customers, Philips Lumileds of San Jose, CA, USA has been forced to issue a Return Request Action for certain Luxeon Rebel and Luxeon K2 thin-film flip-chip (TFFC) LEDs manufactured within a certain date range (coded WW0744 to WW0802) and to halt packaging until a problem with epoxy material used in the flip-chip process at its Malaysian plant is resolved.

The letter explained that Lumileds has identified a batch of non-conforming epoxy material, which has the potential to cause the TFFC die to crack and fail during short-term operation.

The firm adds that it has seen a failure rate that exceeds specifications. Specifically, under normal operating conditions, the affected products experience infant mortality failure within the first 24 hours of operation with failure rates of 10-30%.

Verification of the exact root cause of the quality issue is under rigorous investigation, says Lumileds. In the meantime, the firm is continuing to manufacture TFFC LED chips, so it can rapidly restart the TFFC packaging line after testing, corrective action and qualification. Production is expected to resume in March.

A Lumileds spokesperson said that, while the affected customers were likely to be unhappy about the recall, they would probably appreciate the proactive nature of the action. Lumileds contacted all affected customers (about 5% of its total customer base) within one week of discovering the problem. Customers that have not been contacted are not affected by the return request. Also, many products are unaffected.

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