(November 11, 2010) — According to Dean Freeman, research VP at Gartner, the LED market will see ~11% growth in 2010, and ~35% growth in 2011. Primary drivers are LCD backlit TVs, which are expected to have an adoption rate of about 25-26% in 2010 to ~80% by 2014. The real driver for LED market, however, is solid-state lighting.

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Figure 1. Lighting inflection point: 2015 (2010-2020 forecast) Gartner September 2010 forecast data.

According to Freeman, the inflection point, i.e., the point at which people will start switching to LED lighting in a very rapid manner, will occur in about 2015. Sometime in the 2014-2016 timeframe, the price of a 60W LED bulb should be dropping down to the $12-$15 range. The market may see growth over a 4-year time frame where shipments of LEDs go from about tens of millions of LEDs to billions of LEDs on an annual basis. Freeman details the market drivers and inhibitors in a podcast interview with Debra Vogler, senior technical editor, at Gartner’s Semiconductor Briefing (San Jose, CA 11/4/10).

Listen to Freeman’s interview: Download or Play Now

Reaping the benefits of the accelerating interest in LEDs is the MOCVD equipment market. Sales of MOCVD equipment nearly tripled in 2010, but the cloud in the silver lining, according to Freeman, is an over/under supply situation that is developing as the LED TV market is in a pause point and LEDs are becoming more efficient, so not as many may be needed for backlighting applications. Until solid-state lighting takes off in a few years, the road will be a little bumpy with a lot of ups and downs said Freeman. Overall, in the next five years, Gartner sees a 30% growth rate in the MOCVD market. As end users move from 2in. wafers to 4in., 6in., and potentially 8in., there are inflection point opportunities for suppliers (other than current MOCVD suppliers) to move into the MOCVD market notes Freeman, though due diligence will be critical because the space is already saturated with some very strong players.

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Figure 2. MOCVD equipment improvements impact the outlook. Gartner September 2010 forecast data.

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