Taiwan LED makers benefit from backlight demand

May 18, 2009
As Samsung makes a huge push into LED-backlit LCD TVs, several Taiwan-based LED makers are reaping the benefits.
Taiwan-based LED makers have seen a “flood of orders” in recent months, based on the growing popularity of LED backlights in LCD (liquid crystal display) TVs, according to an article in Taiwan Economic News.

Companies benefiting from the increase in demand include Epistar Corp., Formosa Epitaxy Inc. and Tekcore Co., Ltd.

Korean display giant Samsung has been actively promoting LED-backlit models this year (see Samsung website), and plans to push sales of such models to an estimated 2 million units, accounting for 10% of its total LCD TV shipment projection for the year. The article says that this means Samsung will need around 2 billion LED chips to meet these targets.

Epistar executives indicated that the company’s production lines for blue and red chips are running at full capacity, partly due to orders from Japanese manufacturers of pachinko gaming machines, and partly due to the World Expo 2010 Shanghai, which has boosted demand for large-sized outdoor LED displays. With monthly revenue in April of NT$980 million (around US$29 million), Epistar is to expand its output of blue LED chips to 1.4 billion units this year.

Formosa Epitaxy has reportedly enjoyed an influx of orders for blue LED chips from Samsung, making its April revenue rise 16% growth from a month earlier to reach NT$137 million (US$4.1 million).

Tekcore, meanwhile has not yet directly benefited from Samsung’s orders, but achieved revenue of NT$98 million (US$2.9 million) in April on the back of the growing demand for LED lighting and LED backlights for notebook PCs and TVs. BY the end of the year, the company plans to achieve a monthly output of 100 million units of blue LED chips.