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21 November 2008


Sharp and Nichia enter LED & laser cross-licensing agreement

Japanese electronics firm Sharp Corp of Osaka City and LED maker Nichia Corp of Anan City, Tokushima Prefecture have entered into a patent cross-licensing agreement covering LEDs and laser diodes.

The agreement grants each other the right to use inventions related to LEDs and laser diodes covered by patents owned by the respective companies in Japan and in major countries.

LEDs feature long service life and low power consumption, and are increasingly expected to be the strongest candidate for the next generation of lighting devices. LEDs have been adopted mainly for use in backlights for mobile phones and PDAs, but in the future they are expected to gain acceptance not only for general illumination applications but also for use in large numbers in the backlights of LCD TVs and for automotive lighting.

Laser diodes have long been the key device used in recording and playback of optical disks such as CDs and DVDs but, with HDTV images becoming increasingly familiar, demand is growing rapidly for blue-violet laser diodes for use in recording and playback of terrestrial digital broadcasts, and for Blu-ray Disc recorders and players.

Sharp started the development of LEDs in 1968 and began mass production in 1970. Also, in 1982, it was first to begin mass production of infrared laser diodes for CDs, and this February started mass production of 250mW, pulsed-output, high-power blue-violet laser diodes.

Now, by working towards the development of a vertically integrated business model based on these two devices, including LED lighting and Blu-ray Disc recorders, Sharp is aiming to create products that feature both devices at their core.

By entering into the cross-licensing agreement, Sharp and Nichia aim to create higher-performance LEDs and laser diodes, enabling the two firms to respond to rapidly expanding market demand.

See related items:

Seoul enters cross license agreement with TridonicAtco

Sharp aims for 400mW blue-violet laser diode by 2010

Osram launches finer-tolerance binning for white LEDs

Search: Sharp Nichia LEDs Laser diodes