Asia Pacific Resources Development Investment, GSR Ventures, Mayfield Fund, and Crescent HydePark deliver $80 million in new funding to Lattice Power and its gallium-nitride-on-silicon LED technology development.
Lattice Power has regularly claimed that it has commercially launched gallium-nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) LEDs although solid-state lighting (SSL) products using such LEDs have been hard to find on the market. But the China-based company has received a significant cash infusion to pursue the Si substrate technology that could deliver much lower cost in the backend of the LED manufacturing process. Venture investors Asia Pacific Resources Development Investment, GSR Ventures, Mayfield Fund, and Crescent HydePark have led an investment round totaling $80 million.
The company said the new funding would be utilized to expand R&D and manufacturing operations and finance the expected growth in sales. The company cited the development of Si-based LEDs for mobile flash-photo applications in smartphones and tablets as one of the factors that lead to the new funding.
"LatticePower's commercial GaN-on-Silicon LED technology has provided us the opportunity to be on the leading edge of the green revolution and an overnight leader in the LED market: mobile, auto and general lighting," said Dr. Min Wang, CEO of LatticePower. "This new round of funding will allow us build the necessary scale to be competitive in this fast-evolving and growing market and enable the company to meet the growing demand for our industry-leading products from an expanding customer base across the globe."
Lattice Power said back in 2012 that it was the first company in volume production of GaN-on-Si LEDs. But to date, there is no evidence in the general-lighting market that any of the Si-centric players have dented the commercial market.
Plessey recently added a metal-organic chemical-vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor to presumably boost its manufacturing capacity. That company has sold Si-based LEDs in low volumes even through distribution. The company's most recent LED announcement was for a blue-pump LED that could be used in remote phosphor applications.
Toshiba is also pursuing Si-based LEDs using technology that was originally acquired from Bridgelux. The company announced its second-generation GaN-on-Si LEDs last October. The company also showed a flip-chip version of an Si-based LED at the Light+Building trade fair.
Clearly, however, the investors believe that Lattice Power, and what the company says is a portfolio of more than 200 global patents, will make an impact in LED lighting. In addition the company plans a global expansion. "The company will leverage its proprietary technology to build a global network of R&D teams, starting by integrating a Korean and Taiwanese team in 2014 and expanding to build a US R&D and manufacturing center by 2015," said Sonny Wu, LatticePower executive chairman. "LatticePower will revolutionize the lighting industry."