LED Industry News: Cree, ilumisys, Bridgelux

Sept. 22, 2010
Cree is to build a new 150-mm LED wafer production line, ilumysis is to move to a new facility in Michigan, and Bridgelux is expanding its workforce in Livermore, California.
Cree to build 150-mm LED wafer production line

Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE) has announced a new 150-mm LED wafer production facility in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina, and anticipates hiring nearly 250 more employees by 2013 to staff the expansion.

The new LED wafer production line will be located in Cree’s existing RTP production facility, and will allow Cree to produce 150-mm LED wafers that are more than double the size of current ones. By increasing the number of LEDs from a single wafer, this move will help to make LED lighting more cost-effective, says Cree. The new LED wafer production line is scheduled to be installed over the next several quarters with a target of having the first products qualified on this line by June 2011.

According to a Local Tech Wire article, Cree will invest $135 million in the new line. The same article said that Cree is considering locations for a $392 million plant to manufacture LEDs in Durham County, NC, but is also considering sites in China and Malaysia for the facility.

ilumisys to move to new facility in Michigan

Altair Engineering, Inc., the parent company of LED lighting company ilumisys, Inc., has purchased a 136,000-square-foot commercial facility on 8.9 acres of property in Troy, Michigan. The facility will become the site for ilumisys’ headquarters, research and development and future solid state lighting manufacturing operations.

Earlier this year, ilumisys received a $4 million tax credit from the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) to expand research and development of LED lighting technology and ramp-up manufacturing operations in Michigan. This tax credit, combined with ilumisys’ planned investment of $7.4 million, is expected to create hundreds of new jobs throughout the state resulting from increased economic activity.

Bridgelux looking for workers in Livermore

LED maker Bridgelux Inc. is looking to hire workers at its facility in Livermore, California, according to a local news source.

The company moved earlier this year from Sunnyvale to the new Livermore location, where Bridgelux has its headquarters and primary manufacturing operations. Brian Fisher, director of corporate marketing at Bridgelux, said the company has hired about 50 workers so far this year, intends to hire another 100 by the end of 2011.

Bridgelux will eventually have around 800 employees in Livermore, said Fisher, although the company is only at about 20 percent of the capacity it could install at the facility. "The majority of the employees we are hiring are in manufacturing and manufacturing support jobs," added Fisher.