Category Archives: LEDs

The ideal optoelectronic semiconductor material should be a strong light emitter i.e. should emit light very efficiently upon optical excitation as well as be an efficient charge conductor to allow for electrical injection in devices. These two conditions when met can lead to highly efficient light emitting diodes as well as to solar cells with the possibility to approach the Shockley-Queisser limit. Until now the materials that have come close to meeting these conditions have been based on epitaxially-grown costly III-V semiconductors that cannot be monolithically integrated to CMOS electronics.

The ICFO team has reported a solution processed nanocomposite system comprising infrared colloidal quantum dots that also meets these criteria and at the same time offers low cost and facile CMOS integration. Colloidal Quantum Dots (CQDs) are extremely small semiconductor particles or crystals, as small as a few nanometers in size, and because of their size they are capable of having unique optical and electronic properties. They are excellent absorbers and emitters of light, having their properties change as a function of their size and shape: smaller quantum dots emit in the blue range while larger quantum dots emit in the red.

The use of colloidal quantum dot (CQD) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) has become one of the key ingredients in leading technologies such as, for example, 3rd generation, solution processed, and inorganic solar cells. The implementation of these nanocrystals in devices for optical sensing in the short-wave and mid- infrared have triggered a vast number of applications including surveillance, night vision, product, process and environmental monitoring and spectroscopy.

In this recent study published in Nature Nanotechnology, ICFO researchers Santanu Padhan, Francesco Di Stasio, Yu Bi, Shuchi Gupta, Sotirios Christodoulou, and Alexandros Stavrinadis, led by ICREA Prof. at ICFO Gerasimos Konstantatos, have developed CQD infrared emitting LEDs, which have achieved unprecedented values in the infrared range, with an external quantum efficiency of 7.9% and a power conversion efficiency of 9.3%, a value never attained before with these type of devices.

The key feature of this work has been the development of a CQD composite structure engineered at the suprananocrystalline level to reach unprecedently low electronic defect density. Prior efforts in suppressing electronic defects in CQD solids have been primarily been based on chemical passivation of the CQD surface, something that could not solve the problem in PbS QDs. The researchers at ICFO took an alternative path of creating the appropriate matrix in which they embedded the emitting QDs, to serve as a remote electronic passivant for the emitter CQDs. Moreover, the energetic landscape of the matrix was engineered in order to facilitate efficient charge funnelling into the QD emitters in order to achieve efficient electrical injection.

With these new blend devices, the team of researchers took a step further and constructed solar cells to test their performance in the infrared range. In doing so they discovered that the effective passivation achieved in these nanocomposites along with the modulation of the electronic density of states has resulted in solar cells that deliver open circuit voltage very close to the theoretical limit. The open circuit voltage (VOC), which is the maximum voltage available from a solar cell, increased from 0.4 V for a single QD configuration, up to ~0.7 V for the ternary blend configuration, an impressive value considering the lower bandgap of the cell at ~0.9 eV.

As ICREA Prof at ICFO Gerasimos Konstantatos comments, “The most surprising finding of this study is the extremely low electronic trap density that can be achieved in a conductive QD material system that is full of chemical defects arising on the surface of the dots, the very high quantum efficiency of those LEDs has been the consequence of this passivation strategy we demonstrate. The other exciting outcome has been the potential to reach so high Voc values for QD solar cells that was synergistically achieved thanks to the very low trap density as well as to a novel engineering approach of the density of states in a semiconductor film”. Santanu Pradhan, the first author of this study adds: “Next we will focus on how to further exploit this reduction of electronic density of states synergistically with other means to allow for simultaneous achievement of high Voc and current production, thereby targeting record power conversion efficiencies in solar cell devices”.

The results obtained in this study prove that the engineering of QCD infrared-emitting LEDs at the nanoscale integrated in solar cells can significantly improve the performance efficiency of these devices in the infrared range. Such results open the pathway into a range of the spectra that is still to be fully exploited and offers amazing new applications, such as on-chip spectrometers for food inspection, environmental monitoring, manufacturing process monitoring as well as active imaging systems for biomedical or night vision applications.

Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd. (KOSDAQ 046890), a global innovator of LED products and technology, announced that it has expanded its patent infringement litigation against Fry’s Electronics, Inc. (“Fry’s”), a big-box consumer electronics retailer, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

In its amended complaint, Seoul asserts that top brand televisions being sold in Fry’s stores infringe 19 patents covering backlight lenses, backlight modules, LED chips, LED packages, and phosphors, as well as WICOP technology that enables LED chips to be directly soldered onto printed circuit boards (PCB). Seoul’s patent infringement lawsuit against Fry’s was originally filed on August 31, 2018.

Seoul’s backlight lens patents relate to a new concept of lens technology for manufacturing thin and light televisions. This patented technology was developed jointly with leading optical expert, Dr. David Pelka, and included substantial research and development investments by Seoul in optical lenses. As a result of its hard work and investments, Seoul has approximately 160 related patents in this area.

Seoul’s backlight module patent enables significant improvement of the color gamut of LCD displays by using KSF phosphors.  The related technology has been co-developed with  Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation for many years. This technology has been widely incorporated in most mobile phones and increasingly applied in LCD TVs as well.

Seoul’s WICOP (Wafer Incorporated Chip on PCB) patents enable LED chips to be soldered to a PCB without an LED package – the world’s first developed revolutionary technology for semiconductor structures. Other companies may be attempting to imitate Seoul’s patented technology, describing it as a CSP (Chip Size Package) requiring a sub-mount between a PCB and an LED. Protecting its patented technology has led Seoul to expand its infringement claims in the Fry’s ligation.

In order to safeguard its LED backlight technology and other protected inventions, Seoul has actively enforced its patent rights and sent cease-and-desist letters against suspected infringers. As a result of such enforcement efforts, the United States Federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision on November 19, 2018 that one of Seoul’s competitors willfully infringed Seoul’s LED lens and backlight module patents. The appellate court also found that that Korean LED package company Lumens Co., Ltd supplied television makers with LED backlight bars incorporating infringing products.

“We hope that our commitment for technology innovation would inspire young entrepreneurs and small businesses,” said Sam Ryu, Seoul’s vice president of IT Business. “Protecting that technology against infringement is a cornerstone of our business and sends an important message to the market and other innovators who would follow in Seoul’s footsteps – that hard work and innovation will be respected.”

The excitement about microLEDs has grown exponentially since Apple acquired technology startup Luxvue in 2014. All major display makers have now invested in the technology and other semiconductor or hardware companies such as Intel, Facebook Oculus or Google have joined the pool. Amidst this flurry of news and activity, a new term emerged in early 2017: miniLED. But more than size, the technology and manufacturing infrastructure requirements and the applications clearly differentiate microLEDs and miniLEDs.

Under this dynamic ecosystem, the market research and strategy consulting company, Yole Développement (Yole), releases a dedicated technology & market analysis focused on miniLEDs for display applications. Entitled, MiniLED for Display Applications: LCD & Digital Signage, this report provides a detailed analysis of miniLED technologies in two major display applications: high performance LCDs and narrow pixel pitch LED direct view display digital signage. Yole’s analysts present a comprehensive understanding of miniLED display technologies and describe their competitive landscapes and supply chains.

MiniLED vs. MicroLED: are they the same technologies? Are the applications identical? Contrary to MicroLEDs, miniLEDs can easily be manufactured in existing fabs, even though they might require new equipment to enable cost-effective assembly. So who is doing what? What are the market drivers? Does a dedicated supply chain already exist? MiniLEDs advantages are two-fold in terms of applications: they bring new strength to LCD players in the battle against OLED, and they enable increased LED adoption for digital signage, announce Yole’s analysts. Discover today a snapshot of the miniLED industry, with insights into technology, current status and prospects, roadblocks and key players.

For smartphone applications, miniLEDs are facing a strong incumbent in OLEDs, as their cost to performance ratio has already gained the technology a strong position in high-end/flagship segments. OLED is expected to further increase its share and become dominant as the number of suppliers and global capacity increase dramatically over the next five years and cost continues to drop.

MiniLEDs, however, have a card to play in various small to mid-size high added-value display segments, where OLEDs have been less efficient at overcoming its weaknesses such as cost, lack of availability and longevity issues such as burn-in or image retention. For example in high-end monitors for gaming applications, miniLEDs could bring excellent contrast, high brightness and thin form factors at lower cost than OLEDs.

“The automotive segment is especially compelling, first because of its strong growth potential in terms of volume and revenue, and also because miniLEDs can deliver on every aspect auto-makers are aspiring to: very high contrast and brightness, lifetime, conformability to curved surfaces and ruggedness,” comments Eric Virey, PhD, Senior Market & Technology Analyst at Yole.

Regarding the last point on ruggedness, miniLED-based LCDs offer significant benefits over OLEDs since they only use proven technologies, LED backlights and liquid crystal cells, not much different from already established LCDs. Automakers therefore don’t have to make a leap of faith and hope the new technology will meet the demanding lifetime, environmental and operating temperature specifications they require.

On the TV side, miniLEDs could help LCDs bridge the gap and regain market share against OLEDs on the highly profitable high-end segments. “This opportunity is all the more enticing to panel and display makers that have not invested in OLED technologies and see the potential to extend the lifetime and profitability of their LCD fabs and technologies,” explains Zine Bouhamri, PhD, Technology & Market Analyst at Yole.

For direct view LED displays, miniLEDs used in conjunction with Chip On Board (COB) architecture could enable higher penetration of narrow pixel pitch LED displays in multiple applications, hence increasing the serviceable market. Die size will evolve continuously toward smaller dimensions, possibly down to 30-50µm in order to reduce cost. Adoption in cinema is still highly uncertain but even modest adoption rates would generate very significant upsides.

Plessey, a developer of award-winning optoelectronic technology solutions, announces a collaboration with EV Group (EVG), a supplier of wafer bonding and lithography equipment for the MEMS, nanotechnology and semiconductor markets, to bring high-performance GaN-on-Silicon (GaN-on-Si) monolithic microLED technology to the mass market. microLEDs are the key optical technology for next-generation AR applications.

Plessey has purchased a GEMINI® production wafer bonding system from EVG to enable bonding and alignment at Plessey’s fabrication facility in Plymouth, UK. This enables Plessey to bond its GaN-on-Si microLED arrays to the panel’s backplane at a wafer level, and with the high level of alignment precision necessary to enable very small pixel dimensions.

EVG’s patented SmartView®NT Automated Bond Alignment System technology is suitable for Plessey’s requirements because it allows face-to-face alignment of the wafers with very high precision. A maximum level of automation and process integration is achieved by the GEMINI Automated Production Wafer Bonding System. Wafer-to-wafer alignment and wafer bonding processes up to 300mm for volume manufacturing are all performed in one fully automated platform.

John Whiteman, VP of Engineering at Plessey, explained: ‘The modular design of the GEMINI system is ideal for our requirements. Having the pre-treatment, clean, alignment and bonding enabled within one system means higher yield and throughput in production. The excellent service provided by EVG has been critical to bringing the system online quickly and efficiently.’

Paul Lindner, executive technology director at EV Group, commented: ‘We are honoured that Plessey selected our state-of-the-art GEMINI system to support their ambitious technology development roadmaps and high-volume production plans.’

This announcement marks another key milestone for Plessey in investment in production-grade equipment to bring GaN-on-Si based monolithic microLED products to market.

Veeco Instruments Inc. (Nasdaq: VECO) and ALLOS Semiconductors GmbH announced today the completion of another phase of their mutual effort to provide the industry with leading GaN-on-Silicon epiwafer technology for microLED production. The purpose of the companies’ most recent collaboration was to demonstrate the reproducibility of ALLOS’ 200 mm GaN-on-Si epiwafer technology on Veeco’s Propel® MOCVD reactor when producing epiwafers for many prominent global consumer electronics companies.

“To bring microLED technology into production, simply presenting champion values for a single metric is insufficient. It is essential to achieve the whole set of specifications for each wafer with excellent repeatability and yield,” said Peo Hansson, Ph.D., senior vice president and general manager of Veeco’s Compound Semiconductor business unit. “This successful joint effort reaffirms the power of combining Veeco’s superior MOCVD expertise with ALLOS’ GaN-on-Silicon epiwafer technology to provide customers a novel, proven and reliable approach to accelerate microLED adoption.”

Sorting and binning are standard methods to achieve wavelength consistency for conventional LEDs. But microLEDs are too small and numerous to be sorted and binned; therefore, the uniformity of the epitaxial deposition is even more critical. The most important success factor for turning the promise of microLED displays into mass production reality is to achieve extremely good emission wavelength uniformity, which eliminates the need to test and sort individual microLED chips. Depending on the application and mass transfer approach, the target requirements of the industry are between +/-1 nm and +/-4 nm bin (min/max) on the epiwafer. Through this collaborative project, Veeco and ALLOS further improved the critical wavelength uniformity with the best wafer having a standard deviation of just 0.85 nm, representing an industry first on a production system.

“Veeco and ALLOS validated wafer-to-wafer reproducibility with an average wavelength standard deviation for all wafers of 1.21 nm and the peak wavelength within a +/- 0.5 nm range. With these results we made another significant leap towards the +/-1 nm bin goal on an epiwafer,” said Burkhard Slischka, CEO of ALLOS. “Our technology is already available on 200 mm wafer diameter, which enables the use of low-cost and high yield silicon lines for microLED chip production. Additionally, we have a clear roadmap to enable 300 mm.”

Innovators in display technology are focusing on microLED as the next significant technological shift. According to research firm Yole Développement, the market for microLED displays could potentially reach 330 million units by 2025. This optimism is fueled by the promise of microLED technology (sub-100 micrometer edge length), which is considered the critical enabler to achieving the ultimate display with much lower power consumption. However, development of such displays has been hindered by high material costs and low yield and throughput of microLED mass transfer technology. This joint technical effort effectively addresses these challenges as Veeco and ALLOS continue to work with customers to further improve GaN-on-Si epiwafer and microLED mass transfer technology.

Veeco and ALLOS will showcase details of their breakthrough achievements at the International Workshop on Nitride Semiconductors (IWN) in Kanazawa, Japan on Nov. 12, 2018.

Researchers have set a new efficiency record for LEDs based on perovskite semiconductors, rivalling that of the best organic LEDs (OLEDs).

Compared to OLEDs, which are widely used in high-end consumer electronics, the perovskite-based LEDs, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, can be made at much lower costs, and can be tuned to emit light across the visible and near-infrared spectra with high colour purity.

The researchers have engineered the perovskite layer in the LEDs to show close to 100% internal luminescence efficiency, opening up future applications in display, lighting and communications, as well as next-generation solar cells.

These perovskite materials are of the same type as those found to make highly efficient solar cells that could one day replace commercial silicon solar cells. While perovskite-based LEDs have already been developed, they have not been nearly as efficient as conventional OLEDs at converting electricity into light.

Earlier hybrid perovskite LEDs, first developed by Professor Sir Richard Friend’s group at the University’s Cavendish Laboratory four years ago, were promising, but losses from the perovskite layer, caused by tiny defects in the crystal structure, limited their light-emission efficiency.

Now, Cambridge researchers from the same group and their collaborators have shown that by forming a composite layer of the perovskites together with a polymer, it is possible to achieve much higher light-emission efficiencies, close to the theoretical efficiency limit of thin-film OLEDs. Their results are reported in the journal Nature Photonics.

“This perovskite-polymer structure effectively eliminates non-emissive losses, the first time this has been achieved in a perovskite-based device,” said Dr Dawei Di from Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory, one of the corresponding authors of the paper. “By blending the two, we can basically prevent the electrons and positive charges from recombining via the defects in the perovskite structure.”

The perovskite-polymer blend used in the LED devices, known as a bulk heterostructure, is made of two-dimensional and three-dimensional perovskite components and an insulating polymer. When an ultra-fast laser is shone on the structures, pairs of electric charges that carry energy move from the 2D regions to the 3D regions in a trillionth of a second: much faster than earlier layered perovskite structures used in LEDs. Separated charges in the 3D regions then recombine and emit light extremely efficiently.

“Since the energy migration from 2D regions to 3D regions happens so quickly, and the charges in the 3D regions are isolated from the defects by the polymer, these mechanisms prevent the defects from getting involved, thereby preventing energy loss,” said Di.

“The best external quantum efficiencies of these devices are higher than 20% at current densities relevant to display applications, setting a new record for perovskite LEDs, which is a similar efficiency value to the best OLEDs on the market today,” said Baodan Zhao, the paper’s first author.

While perovskite-based LEDs are beginning to rival OLEDs in terms of efficiency, they still need better stability if they are to be adopted in consumer electronics. When perovskite-based LEDs were first developed, they had a lifetime of just a few seconds. The LEDs developed in the current research have a half-life close to 50 hours, which is a huge improvement in just four years, but still nowhere near the lifetimes required for commercial applications, which will require an extensive industrial development programme. “Understand the degradation mechanisms of the LEDs is a key to future improvements,” said Di.

A team of scientists from Siberian Federal University (SibFU) together with foreign colleagues described the structural and physical properties of a group of two-dimensional materials based on polycyclic molecules called circulenes. The possibility of flexible design and variable properties of these materials make them suitable for nanoelectronics. The results are published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C.

Circulenes are organic molecules that consist of several hydrocarbon cycles forming a flower-like structure. Their high stability, symmetricity, and optical properties make them of special interest for nanoelectronics especially for solar cells and organic LEDs. The most stable and most studied tetraoxa[8]circulene molecule could be potentially polymerized into graphene-like nanoribbons and sheets. The authors have published the results of simulations proving this possibility. They also described properties and structure of the proposed materials.

“Having only one building block – a tetraoxa[8]circulene molecule – one can create a material with properties similar to those of silicon (a semiconductor traditionally used in electronics) or graphene (a semimetal) depending on the synthesis parameters. However, the proposed materials have some advantages. The charge carrier mobility is about 10 times higher compared to silicon, therefore, one could expect higher conductivity,” says the main author of the study Artem Kuklin, research associate at the department of theoretical physics of Siberian Federal University.

Having the equilibrium geometries and tested their stability, the scientists discovered several stable tetraoxa[8]circulene-based polymers. The difference between them lied in the type of coupling between the molecules resulting in different properties. The polymers demonstrate high charge carrier mobility. This property was analyzed by fitting of energy zones near bandgap – a parameter represented by separation of empty and occupied electronic states. The mechanical properties exhibit that the new materials 1.5-3 times more stretchable than graphene. The authors also emphasized existence of topological states in one of the polymers caused by spin-orbit coupling, which is not typical for light elements-based materials. The materials possessed such kind of properties are insulators in the bulk but can conduct electricity on the surface (edges).

“The proposed nanostructures possess useful properties and may be used in various fields, from the production of ionic sieves to elements of nanoelectronic devices. Further we plan to develop this topic and modify our compounds with metal adatoms to study their magnetic and catalytic properties. We would also like to find a research group that could synthesize these materials,” concludes Artem Kuklin.

Seoul Semiconductor (KOSDAQ:046890), a global developer of LED products and technology, announced that it and Seoul Viosys Co., Ltd. have successfully resolved two patent infringement lawsuits filed in the U.S. Federal District Court for the Central District of California against Archipelago Lighting, Inc. (“Archipelago”), a company that sells LED light bulbs.

In 2017, Seoul filed the first patent infringement lawsuit against Archipelago for infringement of 12 LED patents covering various aspects of Seoul’s long-established Acrich technology. A few months later, Seoul filed a second patent litigation against Archipelago accusing additional products of infringement of 8 other Acrich technology patents.

In the lawsuits, Archipelago acknowledged that LED components used in its LED light bulbs were manufactured by several third party suppliers. Although Archipelago had no knowledge of any Seoul Semiconductor patents, or the possibility of infringement, Archipelago did not dispute that the LED light bulbs in question infringed Seoul Semiconductor’s patents. Archipelago also did not dispute the validity of the relevant Seoul Semiconductor’s patents and agreed to pay a license fee in order to affirm its commitment to respecting the intellectual property rights of others. Based upon these admissions, the California Central district court entered judgments in favor of Seoul in these cases. Seoul’s asserted patents include technologies for LED drivers for high-voltage operations, Acrich MJT (multi junction technology – over 6V high power chip), filament LED bulb structures, LED packaging, LED epitaxial growth, and LED chip fabrication.

Seoul is the pioneer of Acrich technology that enables high-voltage operation with a high power output using only a small number of LED units. Specifically, Acrich technology utilizes proprietary LED driver technology to enable high-voltage operation, as well as proprietary MJT technology for mounting and integrating many LEDs within a small area. This maximizes the available space in LED products and power efficiency by 20%, facilitating a simple circuit design and significantly reducing the size and cost of LED products.

Nam Ki-bum, Executive Vice President of the Lighting Department at Seoul Semiconductor, said, “While Seoul will continue enforcement actions to prevent unauthorized use of Acrich technology, we will offer a license program with reasonable terms for companies that recognize and respect the value of Acrich technology. This will promote the distribution of innovative technology products in the market.” He added, “For young entrepreneurs and small entities that wish to pursue technology innovation, this will help them achieve business success, while Seoul continuously works to encourage a fair competition market where intellectual property rights are respected.”

“MicroLED displays could potentially match or exceed OLED performance in all critical attributes,” said Dr. Eric Virey, Senior Technology & Market Analyst at Yole Développement (Yole).It includes brightness, contrast, color gamut, refresh rate, viewing angle, ruggedness and durability, resolution and pixel density, lifetime, power consumption etc.


Yole and its partner Knowmade, both part of Yole Group of Companies release two microLEDs reports to reveal the status of the technology and give a deep understanding of the industry, the companies involved and the related supply chain. MicroLED Displays 2018 and MicroLED Displays: Intellectual Property Landscape are now available. A detailed description is available on, Displays section.

This year again, Yole Group of Companies pursued its investigation to understand the technical issues and business challenges and confirms today its market positioning with a new online event: MicroLED Displays: Hype and Reality, Hopes and Challenges – Webcast on October 11, 2018 at 5 PM CEST – 8 AM PDT – Powered by Yole Développement. Make sure to get a clear vision of this emerging industry and REGISTER today.

Sony’s demonstration of a full HD 55” microLED TV at CES 2012, more than six years ago, was the first exposure for microLED displays and generated a lot of excitement. Since Apple acquired Luxvue in 2014, many leading companies such as Facebook, Google, Samsung, LG or Intel have entered the game via sizable internal developments, acquisitions, like those of mLED and eLux, or investments in startups such as glō or Aledia.

Analyzing Apple’s microLED patent activity shows that the company essentially halted its filing around 2015. This is a surprising finding in the light of the fact that the consumer electronics giant has maintained a large project team and consistently spent hundreds of millions of dollars annually on microLED development. A closer analysis however brought up the name of a possible strawman entity used by Apple to continue filing patents and shows that the company is still advancing key aspects of microLED technologies.

“Despite a later start compared to pioneers such as Sony or Sharp, Apple’s portfolio is one of the most complete, comprehensively covering all critical technologies pertinent to microLEDs,” explains Dr Virey from Yole. “The company is the most advanced and still one of the best positioned to bring high volume microLED products to the market. However, it also faces unique challenges”, he adds.
Apple can’t afford to tarnish its brand and introduce a product featuring such a highly differentiating technology that would be anything but flawless. Moreover, it requires high volumes, which makes setting up the supply chain more challenging than for any other company.

In addition, it has no prior experience in display manufacturing and due to its need for secrecy, has to develop pretty much everything internally, duplicating technologies and infrastructures that others have the option to outsource…

The smartphones sector is a good example to illustrate the leadership of Apple. Indeed smartwatch volumes could reach 100 million units by 2027 and Apple remains the single largest smartwatch maker, explains Yole’s analysts in microLED reports. Yole’s scenario assumes that Apple would start using microLEDs in 2021 in a new flagship model, and, as is common with the brand, will propagate the technology in a staggered fashion over the next three years as legacy products are discontinued… MicroLED Displays report invites you to discover the MicroLED world with a section dedicated to the patent landscape. With this focus, Yole Group of Companies offers you a unique opportunity to get a clear view of the competitive landscape, understand the current challenges and identify business opportunities.

MicroLED webcast will average both Yole’s reports, MicroLED Displays and MicroLED Displays: Intellectual Property Landscape report in order to provide a global overview and status of the microLED industry. Powered by Yole, this event taking place on October 11, will provide an update on the status of the microLED industry. Dr. Eric Virey will detail the activity of the major players as well as remaining technology and supply chain bottlenecks. In addition, cost aspects will also be discussed as well as an assessment of when products can realistically be expected to hit the market. Yole Group of Companies is pleased to welcome during this webcast, on October 11

By Jay Chittooran

U.S. Government Imposes Tariffs on $200 Billion of Goods and China Retaliates on $60 Billion of Goods

Earlier this week, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion in imports from China, including more than 90 tariff lines central to the semiconductor industry.

The 10 percent tariff will take effect on September 24, 2018, and rise to 25 percent on January 1. These tariff lines will cost SEMI’s 400 U.S. members tens of millions of dollars annually in additional duties. However, counting the products included in the previous rounds of tariffs, the total estimated impact exceeds $700 million annually. China has already announced that it will respond with tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods. In his notice, President Trump said the U.S. will impose tariffs on $267 billion worth of goods if China retaliates.

The U.S. government removed 279 total tariff lines, including three lines that impact our industry: silicon carbide, tungsten, and network hubs used in the manufacturing process.

As we’ve noted, intellectual property is critical to the semiconductor industry, and SEMI strongly supports efforts to better protect valuable IP. However, we believe that these tariffs will ultimately do nothing to address the concerns with China’s trade practices. This sledgehammer approach will introduce significant uncertainty, impose greater costs, and potentially lead to a trade war. This undue harm will ultimately undercut our companies’ ability to sell overseas, which will only stifle innovation and curb U.S. technological leadership.

Product Exclusion Process – List 2

USTR formally published the details for the product exclusion process for products subject to the List 2 China 301 tariffs (the $16 billion tariff list). If your company’s products are subject to tariffs, you can request an exclusion.

In evaluating product exclusion requests, the USTR will consider whether a product is available from a source outside of China, whether the additional duties would cause severe economic harm to the requestor or other U.S. interests, and whether the product is strategically important or related to Chinese industrial programs (such as “Made in China 2025”)

The request period ends on December 18, 2018, and approved exclusions will be effective for one year, applying retroactively to August 23, 2018. Because exclusions will be made on a product basis, a particular exclusion will apply to all imports of the product, regardless of whether the importer filed a request.

More information, including the process for submitting the product exclusion request and details what information should be included in your submission can be found here.

Please let me know if your company plans on filing an exclusion. SEMI has prepared a document that includes guidelines for your exclusion filing, an explainer on how to submit, and links to official government info. SEMI is glad to assist your companies file exclusion requests for your products.

SEMI will continue tracking ongoing trade developments. Any SEMI members with questions should contact Jay Chittooran, Public Policy Manager at SEMI, at [email protected].