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5 December 2006


SDK expands capacity for AlGaInP ultra bright LED chips

Japan’s Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) is to increase its capacity for producing aluminum-gallium-indium-phosphide (AlGaInP) ultra bright LED chips, in order to meet demand for use in LCD backlighting and automotive parts.

Production capacity will be increased from the current 30m units per month to 100m units per month. The expansion will begin in February 2007 and is due for completion in Q3/2007.

SDK says it will invest approximately ¥1.5bn to increase production, centering on expansions of a metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) furnace for the production of epitaxial wafers, chip-making facilities, and the clean room.

According to the company, demand for AlGaInP ultra bright LEDs is expected to grow at an annual rate of around 40% over the next five years.

SDK’s AlGaInP ultra bright LED chips, which are based on proprietary technologies, produce diverse colors, such as red, yellow, and orange. The company aims to expand its ultra bright LED business as a new “growth-driver” business, by developing still brighter LED chips for LCD backlighting and automotive applications. In addition, SDK will accelerate the development of AlGaInP ultra bright LED chips for general lighting. Currently, the company forecasts ¥2bn in sales of this product line in 2007 and double that in 2008.