7 June 2012

IMS cuts 2012 MOCVD shipment forecast from 342 systems to 281

Market analyst firm IMS Research has cut its forecast for 2012 gallium nitride (GaN) metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) shipments from 342 systems to 281, according to the second-quarter 2012 MOCVD update of its ‘GaN LED Quarterly Supply and Demand’ report. This follows previous cuts in its forecast from 583 systems to under 400.

“The decline in 2012 is due to sufficient tools being in place for backlighting, lighting not yet fully taking off, and expiring subsidies in China,” says analyst Jamie Fox. “The revision to our forecast is due to an analysis of the latest supplier earnings calls and our latest surveys of manufacturers, which showed that some companies’ purchase plans have been cut back more than expected in recent months, particularly in China,” he adds. “We have heard about capacity utilization moving up in Taiwan this quarter, but we don’t see this as a worldwide trend at the moment.”

Figure 1: MOCVD system shipments from 2009-2012.

Figure 1 shows that 2012 will be much lower than 2010 and 2011 (down 57% on 2011), but will still be higher than 2009’s 224 systems. This year will be quiet as, in terms of equipment installation, it will be the low point between the backlighting and lighting cycles. After a huge rush to buy in China in 2011 (peaking at 92% of shipments in the fourth quarter), sales there are dropping markedly in 2012.

The entire worldwide market in first-quarter 2012 was about the same size as the one largest order in China in fourth-quarter 2011, notes IMS Research. However, the firm believes that the market has bottomed out in first-half 2012. Modest growth should return in second-half 2012.

While the industry is currently in an overcapacity situation that will continue in the short term, longer-term projections show that many more reactors will be needed over the coming years to meet the demand in lighting. At the end of June, IMS will release its latest demand and supply projections, but at present big changes to the long-term outlook are not anticipated.

In fourth-quarter 2011, Aixtron reported a strong quarter, regaining the lead in the MOCVD market. However, as expected, this has not lasted, and Veeco was well ahead again in first-quarter 2012, with an estimated 59% market share (with its K465i GaN LED MOCVD system being the most popular). In addition, according to surveys of end customers, Veeco will also have a clear lead over Aixtron in MOCVD systems for GaN LEDs for full-year 2012. Overall, typical MOCVD system prices remained about $2m in first-quarter 2012.

Figure 2: GaN MOCVD system shipments by quarter, from Q1/2010 to Q1/2012, showing variations both quarter-on quarter and year-on-year.

The report also highlights that China was top region for shipments in first-quarter 2012, followed by Taiwan. In particular, while Taiwan-based LED chip maker Epistar is the leader in cumulative tools installed, China’s Elec-Tech is ranked top among projected 2012 customers.

IMS will be holding the LED Lighting Evolution Conference: From Sapphire to Lumens examining LED and MOCVD supply/demand on June 6th in Boston at the Hynes Convention Center featuring influential industry executives and leading financial and industry analysts. Companies presenting include Acuity Brands, Barclays, Canacord Genuity, Cree, Displaybank, GTAT, IMS Research, KLA Tencor, Nichia, QD Vision, Veeco and many more.

See related items:

MOCVD system shipments for GaN LEDs to fall 48% to 342 in 2012

Tags: MOCVD equipment market

Visit: www.ledmarketresearch.com/report/Quarterly_GaN_LED_Supply_and_Demand

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