Nichia Turns Focus to LD as LED Growth Slows Down

According to Japanese media Nikkei, major LED manufacturer Nichia Corporation plans to invest around 22 billion Japanese yen (about US$197 million) by the end of 2020 to build a new laser diode (LD) factory at its current production base. LD can be used as a light source for projectors, endoscopes and headlights. The Japanese LED maker’s goal is to increase current LD production capacity by at least three-fold by 2020.
The new factory has gone under construction since June 1, 2017 and is scheduled to begin production in February 2019.
LED products have been the main focus of Nichia over the years. However, due to a slowdown in smartphone/tablet LED-backlit LCD display market and increased competition from Taiwanese and South Korean rivals in the LED lighting market, Nichia has reported a drop in revenues and profits for two consecutive years.
Sharp developed green laser diodes, and were running pilot projects of the lasers in its facilities in Mihara, Japan, Nikkei reported last December. The company will commence mass production in its plant in Fukushima, but has not set a timeline yet.
The Japanese electronic manufacturer supplies red laser diodes to audio and visual equipment manufacturers, but has not sold blue laser diodes despite possessing related technology. By adding green laser diodes to its product portfolio, Sharp is now able to supply RGB lasers, which is expected to increase sales of laser products. Sharp plans to ship RGB laser modules to projector manufacturers.
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