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11 July 2016

Emergence of COB technology to boost LED packaging equipment market to $656m in 2020

The global light-emitting diode (LED) packaging equipment market will rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 2% to more than $656m in 2020, according to a report by Technavio.

The report considers the emergence of COB technology as one of the major trends that will gain traction in this market during the forecast period. "COB [chip-on-board] is a type of bare-chip technology used for LED lighting," says Navin Rajendra, one of Technavio's industry managers for sensors. "The lighting module for a COB LED is done by placing multiple LED chips in a small area. It is a comparatively new technology for LED packaging, and it involves multiple LED chips being mounted directly on the substrate to make an LED array in one lighting module," he adds. Benefits such as the capability to spread light across a large area, effective thermal management, homogenous luminosity, energy efficiency and compactness will ensure that the increased adoption of COB LEDs will require the adoption of new and advanced LED packaging processes, which will demand the replacement of older packaging equipment.

By process, as a proportion of the LED packaging equipment market in 2015, LED testing comprised 59.69%, die singulation 18.99%, die attach 15.12%, substrate separation 3.88%, and permanent bonding 2.33%.

LED testing

LED testing is required throughout the LED packaging process, and testing equipment is used for the inspection and qualification of incoming materials, process monitoring and control, and testing end-of-line product. The expected increase in demand for LEDs will subsequently boost demand for this market segment in the coming years.

Die singulation

The die singulation (wafer dicing) segment (valued at $124.7m in 2015) is used to separate individual dies on the finished wafer for further packaging and assembly. The process is carried out on the basis of the LED's end-application (e.g. different types of dies are used in general lighting systems than in automotive applications).

The size of dies, type of structure, and nature and type of substrates determine the singulation technique to be used. Cost and performance parameters are also taken into consideration. The evolution of new laser technologies for dicing and scribing purposes will create demand for equipment and will also help die singulation maintain its market share in the LED packaging equipment market.

Die attach

The success of a finished product depends on many key processes that achieve their individual quality goals and targets. Die attach involves the attachment or bonding of a die (chip) to an LED package. Requirements for the die attach process include:

  • thermal conductivity should dissipate the heat generated from the die;
  • perfect contact should exist between the chip and substrate without any voids;
  • the bond or attachment should be made carefully so that it does not destroy the chip; and
  • the bond or attachment should be able to withstand extreme temperatures without any degradation.

The size of wafers used for LED chip production has increased from 2-4 inches to 6-8 inches. The large wafer size allows manufacturers to reduce the overall cost by producing more LED chips per wafer. Intensifying price wars have compelled manufacturers to emphasize cost reduction and a shift toward large-diameter wafers for LED production.

Substrate separation

The substrate separation segment was valued at $25.45m in 2015. To maintain manufacturing efficiency, LED makers typically attach or populate multiple LED boards, with the boards being tied together. After this, a punching tool or a manual breaking process is used to separate the LED boards. Care is needed during the process, as the printed-circuit board can easily bend or flex due to excessive stress on the ceramic substrate and the LEDs soldered onto the substrate. Excessive stress may also result in a crack, creating defective LEDs.

APAC to account for 88% of market by 2020, driven by LED display panels  

The report estimates that the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) will dominate the market, accounting for about 88% of LED packaging equipment revenue by 2020. The exponential rise in demand for consumer electronics - coupled with the rollout of long-term evolution (LTE) bandwidths in APAC countries such as India and China - has led to the expansion of LTE base-station infrastructure. This will drive the market for display panels that use LEDs as the backlighting source of the screen. Also, the presence of major LED display lighting panel manufacturers in this region will contribute to market growth, reckons Technavio.

See related items:

Chip-on-board LED market to grow at 35.5% CAGR to 2020

Tags: LED packaging equipment COB

Visit: www.technavio.com/report/

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