LEDinside: LED Perspective from Hsiang-Jui Wu, General Manager of Advanced Lighting Solutions SBU, Opto SBG, Lite-On Technology

LEDinside: LED Perspective from Hsiang-Jui Wu, General Manager of Advanced Lighting Solutions SBU, Opto SBG, Lite-On Technology

Lite-On Technology is the most experienced and largest optoelectronics supplier for the semiconductor industry. Since its establishment in 1975, it has been keeping the development and management of LED business, which is regarded as its core business. Lite-On has not only succeeded in enlarging its product scope but also presented remarkable performance in diversified LED application products. LEDinside is honored to have invited Hsiang-Jui Wu, General Manager of Advanced Lighting Solution SBU, Opto SBG, Lite-On Technology to share his experiences and achievements in LED package business of these years. 

Figure1. Hsiang-Jui Wu, General Manager of Advanced Lighting Solution SBU, Optoelectronics SBG

 

Diversified Management Dedicated to the Green Industry and Integrated Platforms built for Optoelectronics SBG development

Being the first LED enterprise in Taiwan, Lite-On has nowadays developed into a group corporation: its products range from LED optoelectronic components to power supplies, keyboards, printers, communication products; it also provides OEM/ODM services to customers in 3C consumer electronics industry. In recent years, Lite-On is actively expanding businesses in the green industry by developing green products related to energy creation, energy storage, energy conversion and energy-saving such as the solar product, battery, inverter and LED.  

Figure2. Lite-On in Green Industry

 

Under the leadership of deputy chairman, president, vice president and CEO, Lite-On has developed and continuously strengthened the integration of internal platforms for business management, customer service and supply chain in order to the group’s synergy on management and provide the best services to customers. 

I. Management Platform: use the same language to share information on customers, market trend and best practice in factories so as to enhance rapid responses to customer needs by extending and increasing communication channels. 

II. Customer Platform: Lite-On provides one stop shopping service to meet customer needs on various products and applications. With SBGs supporting each other, it offers the most diversified and comprehensive service and thus expands product outlets.  

III. Supply Chain Platform: the price, quality, service evaluation and management are unified across business groups for common suppliers to establish the competitive supply chain so as to ensure priority supply to Lite-On in case of tight supply.  

Therefore, Optoelectronics SBG is able to offer the best service to customers with the platforms provided by the group.

 

Opto SBG includes four business units, revenues and profits of each trending upwards in a balanced way. 

Figure 3. Organization Chart of Opto SBG

 

1. Optical Communication Solutions: mainly infrared products such as optical couplers, IR sensors. 

2. Visible Products: mainly through-hole LED (lamp), SMD LED for signal lights and LED display backlight application.

3. Advanced Lighting Solutions: mainly white LED product applications, covering mobile backlight, camera flashlight, large-sized display and TV backlight as well as general indoor lighting

4. Portable Image Device: modules for notebook, mobile, and camera

All Lite-On SBGs have set clear picture on its product segmentation in order to produce the best products through enhancing product and business portfolio and identifying target market and customer. Each business unit has definite goals for the strategic development, operation and finances in short, mid- and long term, considering factors like market segmentation, product strategy, market share target and target customer.   

 

LED Backlight Specification Upgrade Speed Subject to the Yield Rate of the Light Guide Plate

As it is with small- and mid- sized panels and NBs, it is only a matter of time for LED TV penetration rate to reach the saturation point. As a consumer product, LED TV is price sensitive. Although the economic cycles can also affect its sales, the price of LED TV is the major factor of market acceptance. It is crucial to bring down the cost of LED backlight close to that of CCFL. Regarding the total backlight cost reduction, apart from the LED specification and LED packaging technology, the development of the display, light guide plate and LED light bar components and assembling technologies as well as yield rate improvement also helps further reduce the LED TV cost. The optical and thermal issues involved in the process are worthy of notice. In future, with the rising luminous efficacy of single LED and falling LED number, it is inevitable that the decline of single LED and total backlight cost will become the trend of the market. 

Moreover, current challenge and bottleneck for large-sized panel backlight is that the light guide plate specification is still being adjusted so its technology and yield rate will affect the LED TV generation shift. It is predicted that 5630 will remain as the mainstream specification in 2011. However, if the technology and yield rate of light guide plate are enhanced, then LED specification can upgrade into the next generation.

 

Lite-On’s Dversified Development in the Lighting Market

Both under the Lite-On group, Lite-On Technology and Leotek Electronics work in co-operation with a due division of labor in LED lighting market. At present, Lite-On Technology offers LED lighting components, modules and lighting sources. On the other hand, Leotek Electronics has done quite well in outdoor lighting and received high recognition whether in street lights market in Mainland China or in the US market. In terms of the supply chain, besides Lite-On Technology, Leotek Electronics has considerable flexibility to choose other manufacturers. It is one of Lite-On’s cultural characteristics to look at the price, performance and service of each supplier from an objective perspective. 

Advanced Lighting Solutions SBU focuses on the technological and application development of low, mid- and high power LEDs. At current stage, in light of the economic scale of the chip acquirement and quantity, low and mid- power LEDs are still more competitive than high power LED. In fact, low and mid- power LEDs are considerably more used in architectural lighting or LED light tube products. Inevitably, competition leads to price fall. The critical strength lies in LED production cost control, which includes the following four factors: 1. In terms of chip manufacturing, improved chip technology, process and materials will bring down the cost; 2. The initial cost of MOCVD down will also naturally lower the cost due to the depreciation over time. It will also do to reduce unit production cost by means of the equipment upgrade and yield rate increase. 3. For the package and system end, the phosphor quality up and the cost down of the holder, substrate and other components also cut off the LED production cost. 

As the choice and yield of high power LED haven’t yet reached a certain level, light sources with HV/AC LED, COB and multi-chips become alternatives in lighting application. Low and mid- LEDs, HV/AC LED and COB can be applied in indoor lighting including tubes, bulbs and panel lights. As panel lights can be seen as the extension of backlights, it is of strategic importance for companies with backlight experiences.

Lastly, with regard to high power LED development, the luminous efficacy of Cree and Lumileds’ high power LEDs still take the lead in the industry. The amelioration of package technology or system design alone cannot offer competitive solutions. Thus “increasing the LED quantity to reach the performance” approach is needed to decrease the drive current for higher luminous efficacy. However, this will lead to the LED numbers or surface increase and then the cost rise.

In its lighting market blueprint, Lite-On puts emphasis on indoor lighting development. In newly-built architectures, new lighting fixtures like panel lights are likely to be accepted by owners while replacement LED lighting sources have good potential as a light choice for existing architectures. With resources integration, Lite-On group is able to provide customers value-added services such as lighting, thermal, optical, power supply solutions, LED lighting modules and light engines. Its professional team will also present design analysis, prototype design and samples to customers 

 

Diversified LED Applications With Growth Potential in Diverse Directions

Regarding other LED applications, for example, Lite-On is also engaged in the design and production of Pico Projector, whose light engine solutions, like LCOS and TI projecting technologies, are supplied by other SBUs. Besides, Advanced Lighting Solutions SBU offers mid-power RGB LEDs. Moreover, Lite-On group has been performing evaluation of and researches into various kinds of product applications such as machine vision, plant factory lighting, fishing lighting, medical lighting and UV water purifier. 

 

Changzhou to Become One of the Major Places for the SSL Industry Development in Mainland China

In light of backlight and lighting products, Lite-On Technology has two bases in mainland China: Tianjin base, whose major products include backlight, infrared and visible light products and Changzhou base, which is Lite-On’s major operation center in mainland and has other SBGs in addition to the Opto SBG. Future optoelectronic product capacity increase will occur in Changzhou, which is expected to produce clustering effect and form a supply chain in East China. We are convinced that Changzhou will become one of the major places for the SSL industry development in China. Furthermore, Jingpin Opto (Changzhou), the joint-venture between Epistar and Lite-On will supply chips to Lite-On given its location advantage. Besides, other Lite-On SBGs own more than 30 factories in Guangzhou and Dongguan. 

Figure 4. Opto SBG Product Lines

 

Goals and Expectations of Opto SBG, Lite-On group

The Lite-On Opto SBG expects to do the best at current stage in products and customer service management, including the improvement of relations with suppliers, the productivity and the yield rate. 

For the future, Opto SBG will work harder in the R&D of lighting products. For example, ALS is taking over the AC LED and HV LED technology development program now. Meanwhile, it will actively take social responsibilities, promote green lighting, facilitate industry cooperation, generate new business opportunities and develop more cross-straits cooperative businesses. 

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