Toshiba to start LED mass production

Toshiba will start mass production of white LEDs in October.

They will be made on a production line that the company will construct in the 200mm wafer facility at Kaga Toshiba Electronics Corporation, a production base for discrete products in northern Japan.

The energy efficiency and long life of white LED is winning wide-scale application in general purpose lighting, TV backlighting, etc. and significantly boosting market size: from 700bn yen ($8.75bn) to a projected trillion yen in FY2013.

Toshiba is applying GaN-on-Silicon technology to the development of white LEDs, and has collaborated with Bridgelux, in white LED chip development since January 2012.

GaN-on-Si removes the need for expensive sapphire or silicon carbide wafers in production, but is taking some time to get to market while epitaxial GaN quality and wafer-bowing issues are tackled.

Plessey is also aiming to make GaN-on-Si LEDs, while International Rectifier is in production with power transistors using similar technology.

According to Toshiba, its silicon process and manufacturing technology, combined with Bridgelux’s crystal growth and LED chip structure, has produced a prototype chip with a maximum optical output of 614mW. Toshiba will build on this achievement to start mass production of white LEDs.

Toshiba positions white LEDs as a next generation growth area in the discrete business. By advancing the establishment of white LEDs production in addition to power devices, a current strategic focus product area, Toshiba will enhance the discrete business.

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