Osram Opto expands LED capacity with 6-inch conversion

Osram Opto Semiconductors will convert its InGaN-based LED chip-manufacturing facilities in Germany and Malaysia to use 6-inch wafers, achieving a two-fold expansion in capacity.

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Osram Opto Semiconductors will be stepping up its LED production output “significantly” by converting its two LED chip-manufacturing facilities to 6-inch wafers, while expanding both plants.

A new production building is currently under construction in Penang, Malaysia. Meanwhile, in Regensburg, Germany, the available space is being reallocated.

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Osram Opto 6-inch chip fabrication
The two facilities will each be converted to use 6-inch (150-mm) diameter wafers for InGaN-based LED manufacturing, replacing the current 4-inch wafers.

These measures are expected to almost double the company’s chip-production capacity for white LEDs by the end of 2012. The expansion will primarily affect InGaN chips employing thin-film and UX:3 technology, which are required in the production of white LEDs.

The company joins several other manufacturers, including LG Innotek, Philips Lumileds, Lextar and Cree, who have already signalled their intention to build LEDs on 6-inch wafers.

Osram Opto Semiconductors, listed by Strategies Unlimited as the third-largest global HB-LED manufacturer by revenue in 2010, says that the changes will put it on track to “cash in on the growth potential of international LED markets.” The expansion will be “decisive in securing [Osram’s] international market position,” said the company.

The Penang chip-manufacturing plant, which opened nearly two years ago, has been pegged for further expansion and conversion to 6-inch wafers. The total manufacturing area will be raised to around 25,000 m2 in 2012, creating some 400 additional jobs in the process.

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Penang chip manufacturing plant
At the Regensburg plant, the available area is to be reallocated and InGaN production to be converted step by step beginning as early as the summer of 2011.

“By expanding our capacities for high-performance InGaN chips, we are consistently consolidating our market position. The LED market harbors great growth potential in many different fields of application and we intend to continue harnessing this,” said Aldo Kamper, CEO of Osram Opto Semiconductors. “The company is an important link in Osram’s LED technology value-added chain.”

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