ITRI wins 2008 R&D 100 Award with One-Chip AC LED technology

It’s reported that Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), with its One-Chip AC LED technology, has been selected a winner of the 2008 R&D 100 Awards competition sponsored by the U.S.-based R&D Magazine.

Receiving the honor on behalf of the ITRI at a gala awards banquet in Chicago Thursday evening, Dr. Jon Hsu, deputy general director of ITRI's Electronics & Optoelectronics Research Laboratories, said that the technology innovation was the result of efforts of an ITRI research unit over the past four years. Hsu noted that Taiwan is the world leader in LED production in terms of volume, while Japan is taking the lead in production value. The ITRI has recognized the importance of technology innovation in order to develop LED products of higher value.

A LED is a semiconductor device that emits light under a direct current (DC) power source of the right polarity and voltage. Currently, LEDs can only be directly powered in an AC environment with AC-DC converter sub-assemblies. Hsu said that the ITRI research unit started the project to develop an AC LED module four years ago and that after numerous experiments achieved a breakthrough and developed much smaller and more energy efficient AC LED models. Compared to DC LEDs, AC LEDs can reduce energy consumption by 15 percent to 30 percent.

Recognizing the great commercial potential of the One-Chip AC LED, the ITRI has applied for national as well as international patents, with 70 patents already having been granted, according to Hsu. Hsu noted that the institute has formed an alliance with 19 electronics and optoelectronics manufacturers in Taiwan, including Epistar Corp., Lite-On Technology Corp., Tyntek Corp. and Forward Electronics, to apply the technology to the development of commercial products.

With patent protection, ITRI is confident that Taiwan will remain a world leader in One-Chip AC LED technology, with production value expected to reach NT$7.4 billion in two years, Hsu said. The R&D Magazine initiated the R&D 100 Awards competition in 1963 by selecting 100 research teams of technological products or processes expected to enhance quality of life and efficiency.

It’s known that this year's winners include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, National Energy Technology Laboratory of the U.S., Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, NASA Glenn Research Center, Langley Research Center and Goddard Space Flight Center, as well as universities and corporations around the world.

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