LED Packagers Turn to High C/P PCT Package Amid Chubby TV Price Wars

With continual falls in large sized backlight LED TV prices, penetration rates for direct-view type LED TV (aka Chubby TV) is expected to grow in 2014. EMC lead frame drivers have advantages in 1-3W power range, and is expected to lead the mid to high power market. It is also the most commonly used LED chip in direct-view type LED TV. However, with improvements in PCT lead frame driver power output to 1-1.2W, manufacturers are also launching PCT products for direct-view type LED backlight TV. Companies hope to use PCT’s high Cost/Price ratio (C/P) advantages to make new breakthroughs. 

Epoxy Molding Compound (EMC) lead frame has the advantages of high electric voltage conductivity, highly thermal resistance and Ultraviolet (UV) resistant. LED drivers using EMC can reach a power drive of 1-3W, and is mainly used in direct-view type LED TVs. However, certain Chinese and Taiwanese LED package manufacturers have returned to PCT package due to cost concerns as LED prices continue its downward trend, and with improvements in PCT lead frames. 

According to LEDinside’s understanding, Taiwanese and Korean manufacturers’ upgraded PCT lead frame’s LED driver power can now reach 1W to 1.2W. With improved PCT driver power and lower lead frame costs, EMC’s 1 to 1.2W power market position is once again being challenged. Taiwanese and Chinese LED package manufacturers that are focused on low cost strategies are now using PCT products to supply direct-view type backlight LED TV market, due to the package’s high C/P.

As LED applications for backlight price wars rages on, LED manufacturers are improving LED chip efficiency. Chip manufacturers are improving lead frame material to reach better C/P, and package free chips are expected to be another solution for manufacturers that want to lower costs. Package free products can omit Level 1 production phase, and allow further cost cuts. Taiwan’s LED chip manufacturer Epistar has also begun sending out package free Embedded LED Chip (ELC) samples to backlight clients in 2H13. Epistar pointed out the next generation of ELC products will be challenging the removal of secondary optic lens, which is expected to further lower direct-view type LED TV costs. 

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