During the human history, the first generation of Lighting is very primitive oil lamp (candle), the second is the incandescence bulb invented by Edison, the third is fluorescent lamp. Now here comes the revolutionary fourth generation of lighting – white LED which is expected to dominate the lighting market in the next ten years greenrecord.co.uk
Since Nick Holonyak from GE invented the first visible LED(GaAsP), at the 60s of last century, red and green LED born, followed by yellow at 70s, green at 90s. Green LED plus yellow fluorescence material emits white light. Thus, LED applications are expanded from traditional display to most promising general lighting-to replace the incandescence and fluorescent lamp. With the unparalleled advantages of energy efficient, long longevity, fast response, LED is becoming more and more popular in the lighting market.
The semiconductor wafer can’t emit any lights before being packaged in a bullet form, so the market is composed of two parts , EPI-Wafer and packaging. According to statistic, in 2005 the value of encapsulation has increase 11.4% to $6.7 billion. Japan is the largest LED production country on the world, accounting for 46% of the world market, followed by China Taiwan with 17%. It’s estimated in 2008, the value of world packaging market will be up to USD 9. 1 billion, average increase rate 10.9%.
As another statistic’s anticipation, the global requirement of white LED is around 4.5billion pcs, as of 2008, the figure will increase to 9.8 billion which more than doubled, average increase rate closed to 30%. From that We can see how large the market potential is. The biggest application now is mobile phone, having 68% market share at 2005. Due to cell phone market is being saturated, growing slowly, it’s still the top application at 2008, but its market share fall down to 40%, while application for automobile and lighting achieve faster growth, from 10% to 22% and 2% to 15%, and for LCD TV and PC, up to 7% and 6%.
According the study of Nomura Research Institute, because the high demand for mobile phone in developed country have passed, the growth rate will slow down, along with the price of white LED decreased significantly result in the white LED market growth calculated by turnover is far less than by quantity, however its still expected in 2005~2010 there is 10% of average growth rate, from $1.74 billion to $2.84 billion. The driving force is from white LED back light source required for large dimension LCD screens and car equipments.
Manufacturing techniques of white LED are mainly held in the Japanese company which occupies 72% of whole market. Amidst of that, Nichia solely accounts for 41.2%, Citizen accounts for 17.8%, OSRAM OPTO 13.7%, Toyota Gosei 12.9%. Seeing the promising market, through research and development and production cooperation, many western companies including Fairchild, Agilent and Korean and Taiwan companies get involve in LED market make the competition fiercer. Not only will Nichia’s market shrink, but through all sort of rearrangement, some new manufacturing companies will arise.
In the recent two years, white LED is mostly applied for mobile phones, digital cameras, portable game consoles as the back light source. As per the stat of 2004, the application extent is very high, mobile phone 69%, digital camera 67%, digital camcorder 80%, portable game console even reach 100%. High end digital cameras and camcorders’ view fetcher and replay monitor require high quality images, so it is required to use as back light source.