IR LED and UV LED Applications Take Off at Photonics Festival In Taiwan

A special UV or IR pavilion was set up at this year’s Photonics Festival in Taiwan, which took place earlier this month in Taipei, Taiwan.This is the first time that the show organized by Taiwan’s Photonics Industry & Technology Development Association (PIDA) has highlighted niche UV and IR LED applications, which has benefited attending manufacturers and visitors.

UV-A LED market takes off, industry to focus on future UV application developments

Major UV LED manufacturers that attended this year’s show and forums included Epileds, Optotech, Lite-on, Everlight, TSMC SSL, Lextar, LG Innotek and Phoseon.

Taiwanese manufacturer Epileds specializes in UV, IR and other special wavelength LED products. The company displayed UV-A wavelength vertical LED, flip chip LED, and horizontal LED chip products. Epileds greatest advantages has been its UV LED chips good yield rates and competitive pricing. The company also provides vertical-chip LED, flip chip, and vertical-like chip products, which the company has coined as BH. BH products share many similarities with vertical LED chips, and the main difference is the positioning of the chips anode and cathodes on the same side. This design makes wire bonding much easier during the diodes parallel or series combination. The company has also developed comprehensive LED chip sizes to meet different LED package products and electric currents demands. For instance the company’s vertical LED products come in LED packages including 4545, 4242, 3636, 2020 and 1515, providing clients with various options. Epileds early technology developments and client partnerships has assisted it in solidifying its Asian client base, and its main clients comprises manufacturers in commercial nail drying machines, curing machines, and UV exposure machine application markets.    

Optotech is mainly an AlInGaP and IR LED manufacturer, but has also in-house developed UV-A LED products that have been launched on the curing application market. Having made significant improvements in UV-C LED efficiency, Optotech plans to release UV-C LED products power output of 1mW and peak wavelength of 265 nanometer (nm).

Lite-On displayed UV-A LED products for commercial lighting applications that can make white clothing appear brighter.

Lite-On displayed UV-A LED products for commercial lighting applications. (LEDinside)

Everlight featured 365nm, 385nm and 405 nm UV-A products that use ceramic substrates, silicone lens, and 3535 LED package products. The company is targeting the curing machine market with its UV LED products. Everlight’s UV-C 5050 LED package products with a 280nm wavelength can generate a power output of 1mW when driven at 20 mA.

Everlight's UV LED products. (LEDinside)

Taiwanese LED manufacturer Lextar is a fully vertically integrated company that has integrated epi-wafer, package and LED modules. During the show, the company displayed its UV-A LED products, which have employed ceramic substrate and silicone lens package. To meet client demands, the company has also released multi-chip on board (COB) products.

Lextar's customized UV LED modules.(LEDinside)

TSMC SSL has integrated its in-house vertical LED chip products to develop UV-A LED package. The company insists on specialization and has divided its business into SemiLEDs LED chip, TSMC SSL package, and FrontAnD module services. The company also offers customized services to its clients including Lumen Niche- system solutions, and UV LED customized designs.

As for future product developments and goals, Epileds, Optotech and TSMC SSL plan to develop UV-C products, and are optimistic about the sector’s developments in the next two years.

Technology barriers has limited the UV LED market value to US $122 million in 2014, according to LEDinside’s 2015 Global LED Supply and Demand Market report. Currently, UV-A LED has the biggest application market, while curing has the greatest market demand. There are growing numbers of LED manufacturers entering the UV LED market in 2015, and there has been rapid price declines among UV-A products with wavelengths of 385nm and 395nm, according to LEDinside’s latest UV LED market pricing survey. However, manufacturers are still optimistic about the UV LED market developments, and believe as the market grows, moderate price falls will become an inevitable trend. However, UV products are very different from lighting products, due to its high technology entry level, such as product wavelength, irradiance, and thermal dissipation. In addition, UV LED manufacturers need to possess capacity to customize products, optical simulation, and system design R&D capacity. These factors have made the UV LED sector a blue sea market with high gross margins, while offering wide market applications in the future.

Near Infrared (NIR) market application developments to extend to security market, and wearable device market applications in the next two years

1) Security market applications

Epileds is an expert in high power IR LED products. The company supplies 42x42mil LED with wavelengths of 850nm and 940nm for security market applications, and the company is also a renowned AlInGaP and IR LED manufacturer. Optotech has also released high power IR LED chips for security market applications, and has been developing the products from LED chip to package. As security products uses lens with different beam angles, Optotech has also been able to meet client demands.

LEDinside projects the IR LED market for security applications, such as surveillance cameras will grow from US $94 million in 2014 to US $120 million this year. In general, 3535 LED package products for IR LED security market applications will gradually replace traditional lamp package products in the future. Most IR LED products on the market right now still use traditional LED lamp package models, SMD packages, or high power LEDs. The application of high power LEDs can reduce LED usage volume, and simplify the electric circuit and thermal dissipation design, making the IR LED design more convenient for system manufacturers.

2) IR LEDs for wearable application market

Epistar has made significant progress in its IR LED product epiwafer technology, chip structural designs and product brightness. The company product’s excellent performance, reliability and quality has made it leading indicators in the industry. The company has maintained its leadership position, and maintained a 10% to 20% lead ahead of other lighting manufacturers. In 2015, the debut of the company’s IR LED product PN42D also greatly improved its features. Epistar’s partnership model with clients (also known as co-activation service) has also urged the co-development of products. The company has made notable advancements in the wearable device application sector in 2015.

In contrast, the Lite-On group has been utilizing its advantages in the consumer electronic sector, and developed photosensor technology that combines Ambient Light Sensor (ALS), proximity sensor and IR LED. The company has also incorporated gesture recognition into its smartphones, consumer electronic products and wearable devices. System manufacturers can use Lite-On’s photosensor technology’s computer program, which can also be used by IC manufacturers to customize their own photosensor computer programs.

Additionally, Everlight has released a three-in-one photosensor technology, and believes this has become the standard spec among major international smartphone brands. Chinese smartphone manufacturers are also following this trend. Everlight has a stable client base for smartphone backlight products, and will be using these products to stimulate revenue growth.

LED manufacturers have noted there is a large market potential for IR LEDs in the wearable device market, especially for health management applications, such as measuring pulse rate, blood oxygen saturation levels, and blood sugar levels.

(Author: Joannehttp:// Translator: Judy Lin, Chief Editor, LEDinside)

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