Everlight:One Stop Solution for the LED backlighting and lighting market

As the market penetration rate of LED-backlit LCD TVs gradually picks up, LED makers from Japan, Korea, Europe, Taiwan, and China are implementing their strategies in LED chips and LED package modules for LCD TV backlights. As for TV vendors, Korea’s Samsung and LG are very optimistic about the outlook for the LED market. Their projections of LED penetration in TV backlighting reflect high LED consumption. Furthermore, these two companies have their own LED chip and package capacities, and they outsource the unmet portion to Taiwan manufacturers. Japanese and European TV vendors have their own respective plans. Chinese TV brand vendors mainly depend on LED sources from makers based in Taiwan and China. As Everlight is a leading brand in the LED industry, LEDinside has recently interviewed Bernd Kammerer, Everlight’s General Manager of Sales and Marketing Business Group, to learn about the company’s strategies toward the LED-backlit TV market.

Bernd Kammerer, Everlight’s General Manager of Sales and Marketing Business Group

The market penetration rate of LED backlit TVs is expected to reach 15% in 2010

Although therehave been concerns in the market about LED shortage in 2009, Krammerer said that with the company’s strategic positioning, Everlight is not too concerned about its chip supply because in addition its chip supplier Epistar, Everlight has an alliance with two more LED chip suppliers, Huga and Tekcore.

He revealed that the quarterly capacity of LED backlight products in 2010 will expand substantially, and the yield is estimated to double its 2009 total. In particular, there is considerable market potential in LED backlight products for LCD TVs. Current leaders in the LED-backlit TV field are from Korea, Taiwan, andChina.

In light of the technology of LCD TV backlights, the common goal for all manufacturers is to increase LED brightness and light output. As for the technology split between the direct-type and the edge-type backighting, Krammerer believes that the edge-type backlighting will be the dominating technology.

Kammerer predicted that the penetration rate of LED-backlit TVs will reach 15% in the LCD TV market in 2010. Take Samsung for example,it achieved 3-5% penetration rate in the LED-backlit TV market in 2009, and forcasted that, in 2010, 20% of its own LCD TVs will be LED-backlit. Similarly, LG projected that the penetration rate of the LED-backlit TV will be18%-22%. These projections from TV brand vendors are very optimistic. He also mentioned that another positive factor driving the growth of LED-backlit LCD TV is the Soccer World Cup.The event is expected to spur LCD TV sales, and direct market attention to the high-contrast LED-backlit TVs. However, due to its high price, the overall market penetration of LED-backlit LCD TV is estimated at 10~15% in 2010.In the monitor segment, LED backlight penetration rate is only about 5~10%.

Close Cooperation with OEM Clients and Proprietary Technologies in LED Backlighting for TVs

Samsung is a fully vertically-integrated company with advantages in technology and market positioning. At present, industry players are anticipating Samsung’s next breakthrough in the development of LED-backlit LCD TV. After all, the LED specificationshave not been standardized completely, so there will be evolution and improvements in LED products from one generation to the next.

As both Samsung and LG have their own LED companies, namely, Samsung LED, LG Innotek, they are able to focus on the integration oftheir own products. Kammerer believes that in the upcoming year or two, Taiwan makers will be facing intense competition from Korean makers. In order to rival with Korean makers, Taiwan makers must have sufficient production capacity and technological advantage. Korean TV brand vendors’ recognition of this technology is especially important, as they still face issues of shortage in their in-house capacity. In addition to developing their own technology, Taiwan-based LED makers also have the opportunity to improve their technology through cooperation with leading makers such as Everlight, in Taiwan, Europe and America.

As for LEDbacklighting for notebook panels, it seems that the 3020 package has become the norm. However, the uniform standard for LED backlight in LCD TVs has not been established. Both the direct-type and the edge-ype have their respective strengths and weaknesses, leaving a variety of LED backlight standards in the market. Take Samsung for example, the company is planning to develop slimmer direct-type LED backlit TVs.Yet, there are many technological difficulties ahead.

The Cost of LED Backlight Products Poses the Greatest Challenge

At the moment, Korean makers may not be able to achieve the lowest cost in LED backlight products, but both Samsung and LG have the brand advantage. Naturally, as their TV sales volume increases, the production costs are reduced. Kammerer added, from an OEM’s perspective, it is necessary to coordinate with customers, have self-owned backlight package design and LED backlight solutions, and maintain technological advantages.

Kammerer also predicted that the market penetration rate of LED-backlit monitor will only reach 5~10%, and Everlight offers side view 3020 LED package in this segment.

LED standards need to be established and LED makers must excel in design

Kammerer also pointed out that the LED lighting market is a regional market – that is,the market dynamic of each region is different. Take China for example, all government projects require local manufacturing. Similarly, the lighting project in the US require the use of locally-produced LED street light. Therefore, the LED lighting market is highly related to regional demand. Everlight expects phenomenal growth in the LED lighting market in the next two to three years due to local manufacturing. Certainly, Taiwan remains Everlight’s operation hub, with Taiwan-based R&D team, but there will be customized designs based on the requirements of the regional market.

In Kammerer’s opinion, there are many LED lighting products that will replace conventional ones.However, these LED products cannot fully utilize all of the advantages in LED lighting as they are restricted by conventional specifications or dimensions. The most suitable LED lighting application ought to be LED lighting fixtures specifically designed for LED light sources.

The price of LED products is still slightly high but its end-cosumers are gradually increasing, especially when the government has begun to develop numerous regulations, laws, and standards for LED products, such as DOE’s Energy Star. Kammerer estimated that the market size of LED components and LED lighting will grow significantly, up to three times the size in 2009.

According to Kammerer, LED light engines must deliver designs fit for general lighting. Hence, different LED package technologies,such as single-chip package and multi-chip package, have their respective outlets in the market. Everlight has the know-how to develop LED light source, and is able to design suitable products for its customers through close communication with them.Additionally, Everlight has the advantage of not having any burden from the conventional lighting technology. Unlike lighting giants Philips and GE, whose burden of conventional technologies and conventional lighting fixtures will delay their progress in the development of LED lighting because they cannot make drastic changes to their existing product lines. Without the abovementioned burden, manufacturers like Everlight and Cree will develop faster in LED lighting.

The key difference between LED lighting products and backlighting products is standards – standards for LED lighting have not been fully established, whereas standards for LED backlighting have already been proposed by several TV brand vendors. Once LED lighting products offer longer lifetime and better technology at more affordable prices, their demand will boom. It is estimated that the market price will drop in mid-2010. The price decline will be more substantial when governments from the US, China, and Europeannounce their plans and policies in LED applications.

The luminous efficacy of Everlight’s lighting-class LED has reached 100lm/W (@350ma). 10 watt products designed for LED lighting systems will also be launched.

Everlight SL-Dolphin Street Lights, Remchingen, South-west Germany,Europe

Everlight SL-Dolphin Street Lights, Bitan Scenic Area, Sindian, Taiwan

Insights from LEDinside

Everlight offers a one-stop purchase platform where all kinds of LED-packaged products are available, ranging from LED backlights for cell phones, small- to mid- sized devices such as PND, to LED backlights for notebooks, monitors and large-sized LCD TVs.

In addition to itsextensive experience in backlighting for cell phones, small- and mid-sized panels, Everlight also makes technological advancements in notebookand LCD TV backlighting through maintaining close communication with its customers. These advantages enableEverlight to compete with Korean makers which have substantial strength in these market segments. Everlight’s marketing approach, customer relations, and R&D strategies make the company a great role model for many manufacturers.


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