11 May 2007
German lighting giant Osram has underlined the importance of LED applications to its future by building an additional chip-making plant for its Osram Opto Semiconductor business.
The Munich-based firm is to convert its existing Asian packaging facility into a chip-making base, and will also expand its assembly plants at its Penang, Malaysia, and Regensburg, Germany, sites.
The new chip factory will be built at its site in Penang, where Osram OS has operated since 1999, and where it currently produces its Pictiva OLED displays.
A spokesperson for Osram said that the Penang chip production line would be focused on back-end processing, with all the epitaxy remaining in Regensburg.
The company told compoundsemiconductor.net, “The new line will produce chips based on ThinGaN and SiC material for high power appliances in applications such as LCD backlighting, general illumination and automotive lighting.”
It also explained that, rather than being built specifically to house novel technologies, the new facilities were required to meet the growing demand for existing LED-based lighting products.
Rüdiger Müller, CEO of OSRAM OS, supported this outlook, saying, “The expansion of our production sites is our response to increased demand for LEDs throughout the world.”
The company also underlined the operational advantages the new sites would bring. Multiple sites will ensure a consistent supply chain, from which it is easy to meet demand for its products across the world, while the increased capacity will also help Osram to drive down costs as it continues to develop higher brightness LEDs.
Although the company did not reveal how much money it is to spend on the expansions, it did indicate that at both sites the work was to cost “high double figures of millions of euros.”