Sharp to expand production of blue LED chips

May 19, 2010
Sharp will start production of blue LED chips at a second facility in Japan during 2010, boosting its production capacity to five billion units a year.
LED maker Sharp Corporation will start mass production of blue LED chips at its Fukuyama Plant in Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan within 2010. The company started blue LED chip production at its Mihara Plant in Mihara City, Hiroshima Prefecture in January 2010.

The new production capabilities will boost Sharp’s production capacity of blue LED chips to approximately five billion units a year in fiscal 2011, the company says.

In the last two years, Sharp has signed two patent cross-license agreements with major Japan-based LED chip makers. These deals were with Nichia in November 2008 and with Toyoda Gosei in December 2009.

The move is driven by the growth in demand for LED backlights for LCD TVs and LED lighting fixtures, which has led to a rapid increase in the demand for blue LED chips. Sharp has invested around Yen15 billion (around ($164 million).

Sharp’s blue LED chip production business at the Fukuyama Plant has been adopted as a project under the “Fiscal 2009 subsidy scheme for promoting the location of low-carbon industry and creating employment” run by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Sharp says that it “will strive to further enhance the development of eco-friendly products through its cutting-edge technologies and will continue to expand the market for LED business.”