Samsung Now Recruiting for LED Business; Dispels Rumors of Sell-Off of Samsung Sumitomo LED Materials (SSL)
December 10, 2013...IHS Inc predicts that the penetration of gallium nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) wafers into the LED market will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69 percent from 2013 to 2020. IHS forecasts that by 2020, GaN-on-Silicon LEDs will account for 40 percent of all GaN LEDs manufactured.
In 2013, 95 percent of GaN LEDs will be manufactured on sapphire wafers. However, only 1 percent will be manufactured on silicon wafers. This will soon change according to IHS. The growth in the manufacturing of GaN-on-Si LEDs between 2013 and 2020 will take market share from both sapphire and silicon carbide wafers, according to IHS predictions. The accompanying figure shows the GaN-on-Si LED market share outlook in terms of revenue for the packaged LED market.
“Manufacturing large ingots made from sapphire is difficult, whereas silicon wafers are available from 8 inches up to 12 inches and are generally cheaper and more abundant,” said Dkins Cho, senior analyst for lighting and LEDs at IHS. “There is a large pre-existing industry for silicon-based manufacturing that is leveraged to create economies of scale and reduce the cost of an LED.”
IHS says that the shift to producing GaN-on-silicon LEDs is generally accepted to require minimal with manufacturers only having to repurpose their facilities. IHS notes that companies that previously manufactured CMOS semiconductors already own legacy 8-inch CMOS fabrication units that can be converted for LED production with a small modification. Furthermore, IHS says that these companies already have in-house expertise and technology associated with silicon-based processes.
“Many of the CMOS semiconductor manufacturers already have excellent inspection tools, unlike traditional LED companies,” Cho said. “This could help increase their process yield through in-situ monitoring. However, it is unlikely the repurposing will happen overnight; instead we forecast a shift during the coming years.”
December 10, 2013...Intematix Corporation of Fremont, California USA, a manufacturer of phosphor solutions for LED lighting, announced the commercial availability of ChromaLit® Linear, a remote phosphor. Remote phosphor is a lighting system architecture in which blue LEDs power a separate phosphor component. Intematix claims that LED lighting applications that use this architecture increase their light extraction and reduce LED component count and costs. Lighting uniformity and consistency are also said to be improved.
According to Intematix, the ChromaLit® Linear, a remote phosphor offers uniform luminance over any length, high flux density and a sleek, white off-state finish. This product received the Lux Award by Lux Magazine for Light Source Innovation of the Year and recognition by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) in its Progress Report featuring the most promising new lighting products.
Intematix points out that office lighting and other commercial applications have been challenging for white LEDs previously because of the need to diffuse the point sources results in reducing system efficacy. However, Intematix asserts that the ChromaLit Linear product delivers naturally uniform, high quality light with conversion efficacy of up to 215 lumens per radiant watt or up to 163 lumens per system watt when used with the most efficient blue LEDs available.
“ChromaLit Linear transforms industry thinking about LED linear lighting and remote phosphor,” said Julian Carey, Senior Director of Strategic Marketing at Intematix. “We can forget about low efficacy and pixelation because this product enables high light output, smooth uniformity, white off-state and new possibilities for applications from under-cabinet to troffers to high bay lighting.”
The ChromaLit Linear remote phosphor solution can be made for the required length. Surface lumen density scales from 500 to 2500 lumens per linear foot. Intematix has also improved the off-state appearance and illumination quality of remote phosphors. ChromaLit Linear offers 3 SDCM color consistency standard and color temperature options from 3000K to 5000K and CRI of 80. Samples of ChromaLit Linear are available now from Intematix, and production quantities are available with standard lead times.
December 10, 2013...Koch Industries, Inc. has completed its $7.2 billion acquisition of Molex Incorporated, a global electronic components company that produces among other things, connectors that help make LEDs and LED light engines interchangeable.The acquisition was finalized through the merger of Koch Industries’ wholly owned subsidiary, Koch Connectors, Inc., with Molex. As a result of the merger, Molex is now an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc. Molex will retain its name and headquarters in Lisle, Illinois and will continue to be operated by its current management team.
Under the merger agreement, all of the outstanding shares of Molex, including the Common Stock, the Class A Common Stock and the Class B Common Stock were converted into a right to receive $38.50 per share in cash, plus an adjustment of $0.18 per share representing a pro rata portion of the regular quarterly cash dividend.
“We’re pleased to welcome Molex’s 36,000 talented leaders and employees to Koch,” said Charles Koch, chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Industries. “Molex is a great company that creates real value for its customers and society and matches up well with our culture and core capabilities.”
Dave Robertson, president and COO of Koch Industries said, “This acquisition represents a new platform for growth and innovation for us. We’re looking forward to applying our Market-Based Management® philosophy at Molex to help identify and capture additional opportunities.”
“Now that the transaction has closed, we are eager to move forward with our new owners,” said Martin Slark, chief executive officer of Molex. “We believe that combining the global strengths of Molex and Koch will create an exciting future for all our stakeholders.”
December 10, 2013...Torrance, California-based LEDtronics®, Inc., reports that their custom LED lights have been an integral part of helping Gregg’s Customs grow and become internationally-known over the past decade. Since 2003, Gregg DesJardins has used LED lights from LEDtronics to create customized motorcycle products for his clients out of his home-based garage. From that time on, Gregg’s Customs’ product-line for motorcycle enthusiasts has grown into an internationally-known corporation. At first, DesJardins used “off-the-shelf” LED lights from LEDtronics his own, specialized circuitry added. But as his company grew and he wanted to improve his product line, LEDtronics created LED lights specifically for his needs. Today, Gregg’s Customs uses LEDtronics exclusively.
“LEDtronics is a component in the bread and butter of my business, and my primary product is a LED turn signal using LED technology developed with LEDtronics,” stated DesJardins. “From day one, I’ve been with LEDtronics, and they are a core part of my product line.”
When starting out, DesJardins was pleased with the personal attention he received from the representatives from LEDtronics and Pace Associates.
“I was just at the beginning of developing my product and my LEDtronics’ representative at Pace Associates had no problem sending me samples or information that I needed,” said DesJardins. “I was happy with how eager they were to work with me.”
“Gregg’s Customs is all about providing unique and creative products to motorcycle enthusiasts, and we have helped Gregg DesJardins create his Billet LED License Plate Lights, Clear Lens Amber LEDs, the red version of his turn signal, and many other products using LED custom bulbs,” stated Craig Tyler, Pace Associates Representative. “We are happy to be part of his international success and look forward to helping his business grow even more in the near future.”
Gregg’s Customs has created award-winning motorcycles and patented products, which have been shown in hundreds of industry magazines including cover features in Cycle World, Robb Report Motorcycling, Super Streetbike, 2 Wheel Tuner, and many international features as well.
“I’ve looked at other options to fulfill my LED lighting needs, but LEDtronics is competitive and I have no reason to go anywhere else,” stated DesJardins. “I’ve always had good experiences with them over the past 11 years, and I don’t have anything negative to say about them!”
December 5, 2013...Aixtron, the maker of deposition systems that started as a spin-off at RWTH Aachen University in Germany celebrated its 30th Anniversary. Since the company supplied its first research system to AEG in Ulm in 1984, Aixtron has sold around 3,000 deposition systems worldwide. The company benefited from demand for ever smaller, faster and more cost-effective components.
“Optoelectronics is the way ahead” – that is how Dr. Holger Jürgensen, physicist and now Honorary Chairman of Aixtron’s Supervisory Board described his vision. He put this into practice by founding Aixtron together with Dr. Meino Heyen and Heinrich Schumann in December 1983. “One major event was the delivery of the first commercial Planetary Reactor® system in 1990 – a milestone in the development of reliable, scalable deposition systems for semiconductors," commented Dr. Jürgensen looking back.
Aixtron points out that the idea of developing gas-phase deposition materials coating technologies for use in semiconductor chip manufacturing has made a great difference. The company's production technologies have promoted the global LED industry and have also augmented fields of data communication, entertainment electronics and cellphone technology.
“None of this would have been possible without greatly committed employees, colleagues and outstanding partners in research and industry, with whom Aixtron has established longstanding close relationships," commented Aixtron CEO Martin Goetzeler. “Innovative materials technologies will always be the key to new applications. Our equipment helps our customers to secure leading positions in rapidly growing markets. We are therefore investing extensively in research and development to create promising new processes and materials. Relevant examples include silicon applications, high-performance electronics and OLED technology, in which organic materials emit light.”
Today Aixtron employs about 800, of which 250 scientists and engineers work on tomorrow’s technology trends.
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December 5, 2013...One big advantage to LED lighting is its ability to adjust the emission source from full to pretty low with few inherent challenges. That opens the door to a whole new paradigm in 'sizing the light'. In the simplest case, instead of having to specify different maximum lumen outputs, add more costly controls, or swap in different sized lamps, LED luminaires could simply be 'set' at differing outputs based upon the installation need. Sort of a one-size-fits-most kind of approach. lf we were just talking about dimming, the obvious comparison would be to incandescent (and halogen) lighting which is readily dimmable, but shifts to 'warmer' color temperatures as you reduce the current (cool filament, warm CCT). LEDs simply need to be fed less current, which in reality is most often 'less average current' as most LEDs are running at very fast cycled rate, and slowing down that on/off rate, or decreasing the on-cycle duration, results in lower light levels. LEDs also love being run at less than full output, as it reduces the internally generated heat, and increases the useful lifetime. As the output is reduced, there is usually little to no perceptible shift in the color temperature, so dimmer is just that... dimmer.
Fluorescents are less amenable to dimming as they are driven by the UV arc inside the tube, and that, in turn, is greatly dependent upon the temperature of the electrodes on each end. In fact, that's what the whole start-up thing is about, as you need a much higher voltage to cause the initial arc 'strike' and then once that continuous spark is established, the electrodes naturally heat up, lowering the voltage requirement needed to maintain the arc. A dimming ballast has to do some tricks to keep the electrodes hot enough, while lowering current flowing through the arc. In addition, fluorescents, especially CFLs, need 'seasoning' before they are dimmed or blackened ends, malfunctions and decreased lifetimes will result. That's convenient, as I am sure we're all in the habit of keeping sticky-notes handy so we can put up little reminders on all the switches that say "leave at full brightness continuously until Thursday before dimming" or "Do not dim for 100 hours. Record on/off times and update total run time when leaving conference room". Yeah, that will work.
But this is about much more than dimming... With the concept fully in-hand that LEDs don't mind being run at lower than maximum outputs, and that when varying the lumen output you aren't changing the quality of that light, we can move on to some of the other implications. Part of this came up in a discussion with the folks at Cree Lighting with regard to their new LEDway High Output (aka 'Series F') streetlights that are designed for higher-lumen installations such as freeways and arterial roadways. The LEDway HO essentially picks up where their Series E left off, delivering 26,000 lumens where the previous line spanned from 4100 to 24,000 lumens by varying the number of light bars and LEDs in the luminaire. While the Series E is about variants in both output and optics (something like 20 different optics options), the HO has only two types of optics, and if you want a lower lumen output, you change the wires and spin a rotary switch to turn it down.
Cree's also told us that the HO reduces the dollars-per-lumen on the order of 50% when compared to the highest output Series E. That took a little questioning to get clear, since they, as with any of the LED and/or lighting leaders, usually aren't lacking in market sense, and "costs 50% less than our previous version, which is still available" can initially smack of "sorry we locked you in to the old one, but we like the profits". That's not the case here, as at the high end, the Series E has the advantage of all those optical variants, while at the mid-end, it retains those options and has the a lower price for lower lumens while the HO has just the single top-end price (same price, but actually using fewer of the available lumens erases that high-output $$/lumen advantage). I'd draw a complicated chart, but you probably already grasped the concept.
So on to fewer SKUs... Which all leads us to the initial discussion, which is about reducing the number of variants without necessarily limiting the functionality. If model A is all about choice and options, it's a fair assumption that each variation is cost-optimized, so if you have lower output, you pay a lower cost. In exchange for that cost-optimization, and if we also assume that a number of different variants are needed for your project, you need to manage the ordering, delivery and installation of each different sub-model, make sure they are in stock when needed, and get the right sub-model into the right hands that then need to install them in the right place. Not so tough for one shot deals with one crew doing the work, especially if someone gets something mixed up and they just need to walk down one floor and grab the right thing from the gang doing the install there.
But if we consider the example of an ongoing retrofit project, such as the one the City of Los Angeles undertook for their 150,000ish streetlight conversion, the concept of simplification starts to make a lot of sense. In that case, X number of streetlights needed to be installed each day, and given the variety of pole spacing and locations (residential or retail district, mid-block, corner, large or small intersection), and that energy savings is all about delivering only the amount of lumens you need where you need them, it seems fair to assume there were a lot of sub-models being deployed. So planning had to make sure that the right kinds of the right sub-models where in the warehouse on the right day, then loaded onto the right truck that had the right instructions. It's all manageable, but it's not simple. Compare that to just needing to make sure the right number of 26,000-lumen roadway luminaires (just Model XYZ) are sitting in the warehouse, and then loading all the exact same model onto all the trucks, as well as a few spares since they're all the same anyway. The crew's job is as easy as: Go to pole; take off old light; put on any new light; look up pole number and set the output as designated for that pole; make sure it works and head to the next pole. If someone dropped it along the way and it broke, just use another one, since you have plenty more of the same sitting there in the truck.
The one fly in that ointment is the limited number optics, which is why this approach is currently going to be best applied to places that need lots of light, with few variations in the optics. As long as you can set and forget the output, spaces such as big long roadways or car lots or big parking lots (which probably just need inner, boundary and corner when it comes to optics) seem to fit the bill. My crystal ball says that more adjustable, and later, self-adaptive optics aren't technologically that far away. Plenty of sub-$10,000 used cars have adaptive (steerable) and auto-leveling headlights that last for 200,000 miles, so we can't be all that much challenged to head that direction pretty soon for our lighting.
Target the application, then make it simple. I think this LED lighting thing is going to work out...
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