26 March 2010


Taiwan’s Walsin Lihwa to co-develop integrated light-source packaging for Kaai

Taiwan-based Walsin Lihwa Corp has signed a cooperation agreement with Kaai Inc of Goleta, CA, USA for a three-year program to co-develop a new generation of environmentally friendly integrated light-source packaging solutions, targeted at portable applications including mobile phones and netbooks.

Kaai was co-founded in 2008 by nitride-based semiconductor laser pioneers Shuji Nakamura, Steven Denbaars and James Speck, who are professors in the Solid State Lighting & Display Center of University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and had previously developed the first non-polar nitride laser in 2007. Kaai aims to commercialize green and blue laser diodes based on indium gallium nitride (InGaN) for consumer, biomedical, defense, and industrial applications.

Kaai has since demonstrated the first continuous-wave green GaN lasers. This January, Kaai achieved what was claimed to be the longest-wavelength green laser diode operating in continuous-wave (cw) mode, extending its record of 523nm to 525nm. Kaai had previously demonstrated 520–522nm lasers last September.

Walsin Lihwa was founded in 1966 to make copper cables and wires, power cables and wires, and specialty steel products, becoming a leader in the Greater China market. In 2000, it started developing micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). In the past few years, the firm has dedicated itself to developing integrated light-source packaging and wafer-level packaging solutions for environmentally friendly optical, mechanical and electronic applications, securing almost 200 patents.

Walsin Lihwa says that its MEMS team has been effective in attracting both local and overseas talent, enabling independence in R&D to become a provider of miniaturized modules. The firm has previously worked with UCSB for over three years on developing unique packaging technologies for laser light sources.

Ching Hu, president of Walsin Lihwa’s Micro-Optical-Mechanical-Electronic Group, together with Kaai’s CEO Richard Craig, presided over the agreement’s signing ceremony, in the presence of Nakamura, Denbaars and Speck (who have been invited to become science advisors to Walsin Lihwa).

According to Hu, Kaai’s blue and green laser technologies will be critical to Walsin Lihwa’s integrated light-source business development, and the R&D cooperation between the firms is expected to generate synergy in effective sharing of resources and expertise. Walsin Lihwa is scheduled to deliver samples of integrated light-source packaging solutions for verification within a year.

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