More MOCVD capacity and 6-inch growth at Lextar

Aug. 27, 2010
The Taiwan-based LED manufacturer Lextar Electronics had a successful quarter and is busy building new facilitates and expanding its MOCVD growth capabilities.
Lextar Electronics Corporation, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of LED chips, epiwafers and packages, as well as solid-state lighting products, has reported strong quarterly results and is planning to install MOCVD systems that are capable of LED growth on 6-inch wafers.

For the second quarter ended June 30, 2010, Lextar posted consolidated revenue of NT$2,381 million (US$74 million), up 81.8% from the previous quarter. Gross profit improved 149.6% quarter-over-quarter to NT$684 million, with gross margin of 28.7%. For the first half of 2010, Lextar’s revenue was NT$3,691 million (US$115 million).

‘Thanks to strong demand for LED backlight for large-sized LCD panels, our capacity was nearly fully loaded and led to an outstanding revenue performance in the second quarter,” said B.Y. Chang, Chief Financial Officer of Lextar Electronics.

“Although faced with rising costs of sapphire [substrates] and other raw materials, the addition of our new equipment has contributed to the in-house chip production,” said Chang.

The company said that it currently has over 50 MOCVD systems, and estimates the number will increase to approximately 80 systems by year end. MOCVD systems capable of growing on 6-inch wafers are also planned for installation by year end, said Lextar, which will raise the percentage of in-house LED chips to 70%.

In addition, said Chang, Lextar was able to decrease its production costs using a vertical integrated production model from upstream epitaxy and midstream chip manufacturing to downstream packaging. It also benefited from the synergy created by Lextar’s merger with LightHouse Technology in March 2010.

In the future, says Lextar, it will “continue to adjust product portfolio, actively expand in LED lighting market, research and develop new product for lighting applications, and provide total solution services to increase value-added products.”

Lextar was founded in May 2008 and is a subsidiary of AU Optronics Corp (AUO), the LCD panel maker. The company has more than 2,000 employees, and its manufacturing plants are located at its headquarters in the Hsinchu Science Park, as well as the Hukou Industrial Park.

A new site in Chunan, Taiwan is designated to be the lighting application production base, with production lines to include SMT (surface-mount technology) and LED light-module assembly. This will be Lextar’s fourth production base and is estimated to begin mass production in 4Q this year.

Additionally, a production base currently under construction in Suzhou, China is scheduled to be outfitted with equipment early next year and to begin production in 1Q/2011. In response to the establishment of the new production bases, Lextar expects to hire an additional 1800 new employees by the end of this year.