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22 January 2009


Opto Tech and Nichia expand LED manufacturing collaboration

According to a Taiwan Economic News report from the Chinese Economic News Service, LED chip maker and packager Opto Tech Corp of Taipei, Taiwan and Japan’s Nichia Corp are expanding their LED manufacturing collaboration (which started in August 2004).

Nichia has previously made LED chips mainly for its own packaging lines, but now wants to boost sales of its chips to packaging firms worldwide. It has hence pledged to increase the supply of its LED chips in return for Opto Tech committing to also making the firm’s chips on a contract basis and hence selling more Nichia-branded bare die to LED packaging firms.

Opto Tech says that it has sent samples of the contract chips it makes for Nichia to its customers in Taiwan, the USA and Japan, and has consequently acquired verifications from three LED chip packaging firms in Taiwan and started shipments in small volume, entering the supply chain for small-size notebook backlight units (BLUs).

With LED backlit notebooks forecast to account for up to 40% of all notebook PCs made in 2009, Opto Tech reckons that Nichia-related LED orders from BLU OEMs will grow 50% in 2009. So, despite the slowdown in LED sales for other, more established applications, Opto Tech expects its annual revenue from sales of Nichia-branded chips to double this year to NT$1bn (US$30m), about 20% of its total revenue. Opto Tech’s revenues in 2008 were NT$6.5bn (US$196m), including NT$5.1bn (US$154m) from chip making (and the remainder from large outdoor LED signs).

As part of the cooperation, in late December Opto Tech invested NT$379m (US$11.5m) in Nichia in order to further develop the market for notebook-use LED backlighting, according to VP Dean Chang in a report by Digitimes. This investment will likely be reciprocated by Nichia increasing its shareholding in Opto Tech.

With Opto Tech using more LED chips made by Nichia, in late December it announced that it has decided to reschedule indefinitely completion of its factory Ningbo Opto Tech Semiconductor Co Ltd in Ningbo Wangchun Industrial Park, Zhejiang province, China (originally scheduled for fourth-quarter 2008).

See related item:

Taiwan firms cut back LED production

Search: Opto Tech Nichia LEDs BLUs




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