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12 June 2007


Taiwan forms LED alliance for standards and quality

Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the Department of Industrial Technology have set up an alliance for R&D on LED lighting standards and quality, involving seven Taiwanese LED lighting-related member companies - Alliance Optotek, China Electric Manufacturing, Epistar,
I-Chiun Precision Industry, Lite-On Technology, Lustrous Technology and Wei Min Industrial – reports the Digitimes web-site.

In order to improve the competitiveness of Taiwan’s LED lighting industry, the alliance’s aim is to integrate technologies within the LED and lighting industries and develop the first complete LED lighting measurement standard in Taiwan.

The alliance plans to develop LED T-bar indoor lamps with 100lm/W light efficiency and 20,000-hour expected lifetime, LED headlights and LED street lamps, along with quality verification technologies, the MOEA adds.

Previously, in late April (according to the Taiwan Economic News), at a conference of domestic industrial leaders and experts called to discuss development strategies for the domestic LED lighting industry, participants had urged the MOEA to see that national standards for LED lamps were established “as soon as possible”, so that local manufacturers could make the patent arrangements that they need to challenge for leadership in the international market.

At the conference, economics minister Steve R.L. Chen affirmed the government’s confidence in the development of the LED industry as Taiwan’s third ‘trillion NT dollar industry’ (after semiconductors and TFT-LCD thin-film-transistor liquid crystal displays). He also announced that the MOEA was spending NT$2bn (US$60.6m) for R&D over the next four years to help develop Taiwan’s LED industry, aiming to boost its production value to NT$540bn (US$16.36bn) in 2016.

In particulart, the MOEA’s Bureau of Energy is providing: NT$1.05bn (US$31.81m) to help manufacturers develop high-efficiency, high-end LED lighting sources; NT$45m (US$1.36m) to develop quality-control and inspection equipment and devices; NT$210m (US$6.36m) to develop standard modules for general illumination; NT$60m (US$1.81m) to establish indigenous LED standards and inspection platforms; and NT$80m (US$2.42m) to promote up-, mid-, and down-stream integration in the industry.

In addition, the Bureau of Energy (which has pinpointed LEDs as a critical industry for environmental protection and energy conservation) is replacing all of Taiwan's conventional traffic lights with LEDs within the next three years (with about 430,000 yet to be replaced), encouraging the replacement of conventional emergency-exit lights with LEDs, and choosing representative buildings for the installation of LED lighting. The bureau also aims to install LEDs in all of Taiwan’s 1.35 million street lamps. Demonstration LED street lamps are expected to be ready for use in 2008.

The Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection recently completed the formulation of national standards for LED traffic signs, and has added national standards for LED lighting sources in emergency lights, according to the bureau’s director general, C.S. Chen. The completion of revised regulations for the use of LEDs in street lamps is expected to be announced by the end of 2007.

Both the Bureau of Energy and the Department of Industrial Technology have promised support for domestic manufacturers in developing LED lighting sources via special technology development projects, for which the usual ceiling of NT$30m (US$909,090) on subsidies per R&D project does not apply.

*Previously, in March, to strengthen Taiwan’s LED industry, the government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) formed the Taiwan Optoelectronic Semiconductor Industry Association (TOSIA) along with 14 Taiwan LED chip makers and packagers, including Arima Optoelectronics, Bright LED Electronics, Epistar, Everlight Electronics, Formosa Epitaxy, Kingbright, Ledtech Electronics, Ligitek Electronics, Lingsen Precision Industries, Lite-On Technology, Opto Tech, Para Light Electronics, Tyntek and Unity Opto Technology.

Also, in February, an alliance to develop products for the LED automotive lamp after-market (AM) was formed, led by Taiwan’s Automotive Research & Testing Center (ARTC) and including the firms AMA Precision, Depo, Epistar and Everlight. ARTC says that the aim is to develop three new LED-based headlights for the automotive market over the next 18 months.

See related item:

Taiwan forms LED industry association