Taiwanese suppliers target white LED improvements

Ten members of Taiwan's LED lighting industry have formed a consortium to accelerate the development of white LEDs.

The Next Generation Lighting Plan aims to improve the performance of white LEDs produced by combining UV LED chips with RGB phosphors. The consortium is coordinated by Frank Chien of Forepi and includes fellow LED chip makers Epistar, Tyntek and Opto Tech. The other six members are LED packaging companies, namely LEDbright, Everlight, Ledtech, Uni, Paralight and Kingbright.

During the current phase of the plan, covering 2004 and 2005, the group hopes to achieve a luminous efficacy of 40 lm/W for white LEDs. Looking ahead, the next two-phase should see a further improvement to 60 lm/W.

Funding for the current phase, which is provided by the Economic Affairs department of the Taiwanese government and by the participants, amounts to NT$ 380 million ($11.5 million). Intellectual property developed during the program will be shared by the participating companies, who will all look to commence mass-production of white LEDs at the appropriate time.

"In the past five years, Japan invested more than NT$2 billion for the development of white LEDs, while South Korea is expected to allot NT$3.3 billion within the next five years," said Frank Chien. "Mainland China also intends to develop white LEDs. In line with this we decided that it is the best time for [Taiwanese manufacturers] to establish this group."

(This article was originally published in the March 2004 issue of Compound Semiconductor magazine.)

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