Business News: Neo-Neon, Epistar, SemiLEDs, Aluwave

Oct. 16, 2008
Neo-Neon is to start making LED chips, Epistar has filed a patent lawsuit against Huga, SemiLEDs has bought lithography tools from Ultratech, and Aluwave and OLP have developed a light system using LED and fiber optics.
Neo-Neon equips LED chip-making plant

Neo-Neon Holdings, one of the world's largest decorative lighting companies, plans to enter the LED chip-making sector, making it more vertically integrated. The company already has its own LED packaging capabilities and manufactures a wide range of LED lighting products.

Neo-Neon has reportedly spent US$30 million on equipment for a chip-making facility in Guangdong, China, including more than 10 MOCVD growth systems. The company plans to save 40-50% in production costs for its LED product line.

The plant will have a monthly capacity of 12,500 wafers, or around 400 million chips. However, this will be far lower than Neo-Neon's total demand for LEDs, and the company will still have to source LED chips from outside.

Epistar files LED patent infringement lawsuit against Huga

Taiwan-based LED chipmaker Epistar has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against competitor Huga Optotech, seeking NT$200 million ( around US$6.16 million), according to Digitimes.

Epistar filed the lawsuit with Taiwan's intellectual property court, claiming that Huga's blue and green LED products infringe on its patent.

Previously, Epistar has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Epitech Technology and Formosa Epitaxy. Epitech ended up paying royalties to Epistar, while the case against Formosa Epitaxy was withdrawn in August 2008 following an out-of-court settlement.

SemiLEDs orders Ultratech equipment

Ultratech, Inc., a supplier of lithography and laser-processing systems used to manufacture semiconductor devices, has received a multiple-system order from US-based LED maker SemiLEDs Corp.

SemiLEDs will use Ultratech's Star 100 lithography tools to manufacture LEDs at its facility in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

SemiLEDs CEO Trung Tri Doan explained, "With improved alignment and resolution of the Star 100 Ultratech stepper system, we will start volume production of our advanced UVA high-power LED product family (365/395/405 nm), with output optical power as high as 350 mW per mm2. This new family of UVC high-power LED products will enable new LED applications that could only be dreamed of -- polymer curing such as inkjet printers, sanitation, semiconductor processes, medical applications such as dental, cancer treatment, tanning, etc.”

Aluwave and OLP develop light system with LED and fiber optics

Optimal Light Partner (OLP) has developed a patented fiber-optic light system that enables a powerful light source to be mounted separately from where the light leaves the lamp. An example is street lamps with light source mounted at ground level.

The main benefit with this approach is simplified maintenance, and also that the light source can be protected from extreme environments. The product has already been commercialized.

Driven by a strong market need, OLP has now signed a development agreement with Aluwave, a thermal management specialist company, to develop an LED-based light engine for their range of products.

Together with Banverket, Swedish Rail Administration, the LED-based system will be tested in field trials during the autumn. The project also involves key resources at the Royal Institute of Technology and the Swedish Energy Agency.