SDK to increase AlGaInP LED chip capacity

Dec. 20, 2007
Showa Denko aims to produce 200 million AlGaInP LED chips per month by the end of 2008.
Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) is to increase its production capacity of aluminum-gallium-indium-phosphide (AlGaInP) ultrabright LED chips at its Chichibu Plant from 100 million units a month at present to 200 million units a month by the end of 2008.

SDK will invest JPY1.2 billion ($10.6 million) for this expansion to meet growing demand for use in outdoor displays and automotive applications. The expansion is in addition to the earlier expansion from 30 million units a month to 100 million units a month completed in October 2007.

SDK says that demand for AlGaInP ultrabright LED chips is expected to grow 30% or more a year, driven by applications such as outdoor displays, automotive rear and interior lighting, and LCD backlighting for flat-panel TVs and PCs.

SDK also says that it has achieved the world’s highest-level brightness in its AlGaInP ultrabright LED chips, which it supplies in diverse colors (red, orange, yellow, and yellowish green), and in a wide variety of sizes as required by customers.

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” business. SDK is aiming to increase sales of ultrabright LED chips — i.e gallium-nitride blue/green LED chips and AlGaInP red/yellow LED chips — to ¥15 billion (around $132 million) in 2008.

In other news, SDK has expanded the high-purity ammonia production capacity at its subsidiary Taiwan Showa Chemicals Manufacturing Co., Ltd., from 1,000 tons a year to 1,200 tons a year, to meet growing demand from the electronics industry of East Asian countries.

High-purity ammonia is widely used in the production of semiconductors and liquid crystal displays (LCDs) in the region, as well as in the production of gallium-nitride LEDs and solar cells.