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11 December 2007


SDK to double red/yellow LED chip capacity

Tokyo-based Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has decided to invest ¥1.2bn to further increase production capacity for aluminum gallium indium phosphide (AlGaInP) ultrabright LED chips at its Chichibu plant, from the current 100 million units per month to 200 million units per month by the end of 2008. The aim is to meet the growing demand for applications in outdoor displays and automotive parts. The latest expansion is in addition to the earlier expansion from 30 million to 100 million units per month (completed in October).

The firm supplies the AlGaInP ultrabright LED chips in colors including red, orange, yellow, and yellowish green. The main applications are currently outdoor displays. However, new applications are being developed, including automotive parts (rear lights, interior lighting) and LCD backlighting for flat-panel TVs and PCs. Demand is therefore expected to grow 30% or more annually.

Under its Passion Project (a consolidated business plan that runs from 2006 through 2008), SDK is expanding its ultrabright LED business as a ‘new growth-driver’. In July, the firm announced that it was investing ¥5bn to expand its capacity for gallium nitride-based blue/green LED chips at its Chiba site ahead of schedule, to 200 million units per month by June 2008. This extended an existing expansion (announced only in February) from 30 million to 100 million units per month by the end of 2007. While GaN-based blue LEDs are currently used in mobile phones and displays, demand is expected to grow at an annual rate of nearly 20% in the next five years, due mainly to the development of applications such as LCD backlighting, says SDK.

With a collective capacity of 400 million units per month, SDK is aiming to increase sales of ultrabright LED chips (AlGaInP red/yellow LED chips and GaN blue/green LED chips) to ¥15bn in 2008.

See related items:

SDK expanding monthly blue LED chip capacity to 200m units by June 2008

Showa Denko develops hybrid growth process for GaN-based blue/white LEDs

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