December 21, 2007 – Taiwan’s top display panel supplier AU Optronics is reportedly venturing into production of epitaxy for LEDs with a new subsidiary, gaining a foothold in a market seen as key for displays, according to local reports.
The Taiwan Economic News says that the company has already started procuring equipment for the new unit in Hsinchu, northern Taiwan, with total planned investments of >$300M. Digitimes, citing a report by Chinese-language Economic Daily News, claims the firm will buy up to 100 MOCVD tools, but has not yet laid out a production manufacturing timeline.
Among local suppliers, Epistar has the largest capacity of LED epitaxy, with ~150 MOCVD tools at its disposal; AU and Chi Mei Optoelectronics, which has deployed LED operations through an affiliate, are producing LEDs on a trial basis.
But with the projected importance of LEDs as backlighting for notebook displays and eventually LCD TVs, AU and CMO are moving to boost their investments in the field and hopefully avoid future LED chip shortages. That could impact upstream LED epitaxy suppliers including Epistar, Formosa Epitaxy, Huga Optotech, Arima Optoelectronics, and Uni Light Technology, the paper notes.