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.