Korean companies target Japanese market, expand capacity

Seoul Semiconductor is to introduce its LCD backlights into the Japanese market, while Aixtron has sold a number of material growth machines to Korean organizations.

Seoul enters Japanese market

Seoul Semiconductor Co. has set up a local unit in Japan to market its high-brightness white LEDs for use as backlights in liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors and TV sets, according to Nikkei Business Daily.

South Korea's largest LED maker plans to make full use of its cost-competitiveness to penetrate the Japanese market through local agents such as Kaga Electronics Co. and other firms.

The company has developed a white LED which offers enhanced color reproduction capability, and shipments of samples have already begun in Japan. The company will also market its red-green-blue backlight LEDs in Japan.

LCDs that use white LEDs as a backlight increase their color reproduction quality to 90% from 70% in terms of NTSC (National Television Systems Committee) video standards, the firm claims.

As LCD backlights, white LEDs are more expensive than cold cathode fluorescent (CCFL) tubes, and their use in large screen LCD TV sets has been quite limited. Seoul Semiconductor plans to sell the LEDs to manufacturers of car navigation systems and electronics firms that make small LCD TVs.

Aixtron sells equipment to Korea

Aixtron AG, a German supplier of MOCVD equipment used to grow semiconductor LED layers, has reported several orders from Korean organizations.

One MOCVD system, a repeat order for an AIX 2600G3HT model, will be shipped to Samsung Electro Mechanics, a company located in Suwon-City (also known as “Samsung City”), near Seoul.

Samsung Electro Mechanics manufactures SMD- and lamp-type LEDs of cellular handsets and numerous other markets.

One of the most successful start-up companies in South Korea, LED wafer and chip supplier EpiValley Co Ltd. (located near Seoul) has placed a repeat order for two more Thomas Swan CCS reactors (each with 19 x 2-inch wafer capacity).

Another order has been placed by the newly established Korea Photonics Technology Institute (KOPTI), located at the City of Gwangju. The city in the southern part of the country is embarking upon a “LED Valley” project that aims to make it one of the most innovative LED production powerhouses in the world (see Korea creates LED Valley).

A Thomas Swan CCS machine (19 x 2-inch) will be used for the development and the production of GaN-based LEDs, while an AIX 2600G3 (18 x 3-inch) will be utilized for the development and manufacture of GaAs-based LEDs.

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