General Survey on the Development of the Domestic High-Brightness LED Industry

Peng Wan-hua

Optoelec. Sub Committee of COEMA

Abstractㄩ

This article describes the situation of white LED industry in mainland China and the key measures to promote the development of LED industry.

i. Foreword

Owing to many advantages including three main ones which are energy-saving, environment protecting and lasting using life, the application range of the High-Brightness LED has been broadening and come into the special lighting field. Thus a great amount of resource has been put into researching and industrialization of the High Bright LED, both at home and abroad. In recent years, due to the attention paid by the national and some local governments, also the great investment made by the colleges, institutes and enterprises relevant to the LED industry, great development has been made in the research result and industrialization of LED technology. Below is a brief introduction to the general situation and key measures of the High Bright and White LED industry.

j. Situation of the Domestic High Bright and White LED Industry

1. General situation of LED industry

The development of the domestic LED industry started from the 70*s of last century. Mainly made up of materials like GaP and GaAlAs, the LED research and industrialization has begun. Many colleges and institutes got into the study of the High Bright LED based on the 4-element series based on InGaAlp and GaN system from the 90*s. What*s more, a lot of powerful enterprises have been investing in High Bright and White LED industry in recentyears, thus promoting the industry development rapidly to a yearly turnout of 10 billion pieces of High Bright LED chips and 30 billion pieces of packaging. As it is shown in the figure, the growth rate of High Bright chips exceeds 100% while that of the device exceeds 50%. According to the statistics and evaluation made by the industry association, excluding the overseas investment enterprises, there are more than 1000 domestic companies based on LED industry. Except for the epitaxy equipments and part of raw materials, domestic companies have a strong matching capability of major raw materials, manufacturing equipments testing instruments and key matching parts of LED products, such as phosphor, LED driving IC, application lamps, lead frames and matching tooling. A complete industry chain has been formed.

FigureㄩTurnout of High Bright LED Device and Chip

Years

Turnout and

Growth Rate

Description

2004

2005

2006ㄗForecastㄘ

Unit: billion pcs

Growth Rate

ㄗ%ㄘ

Unit: billion pcs

Growth Rate

ㄗ%ㄘ

Unit: billion pcs

Growth Rate

ㄗ%ㄘ

High Bright LED Chip

2.5

300

6.0

140

12.0

100

8.0

60

12.0

50

18.0

50

2. Epitaxy of LEDs, Technology of Chips and the Industry Trends

Some domestic colleges and institutes have started the basic research on k-m family compound material epitaxy long ago, therefore, when ultra high bright LED was successfully developed after research was done on the 4-element series based onInGaAlp and GaN in the 90*s internationally, research and development was started in this aspect in time by the following research units and organizations 每 Beijing University, Qinghua University, Nanchang University, Shandong University, South China Normal University, Beijing Industrial University, CAS Institute of Semiconductors, CAS Institute of Physics, China National Electronics Group. Their chief fruits are: GaN epitaxy layer grown on silicon base, GaN basic blue light wave length shift, ohm problem on P section, ITO transparent electrode application, Al2O3 base peel-off by laser, raising the efficiency of extended inner quanta and outer quanta of the die, anti-light attenuation ability and the heat sink of power die, etc. The developed power LED die could be industrialized, its luminescence efficiency is about 40lm/w, and could reach as high as 50lm/w, the emitting power of single device is 150mwㄛand could be as high as 190mw. As forthe emitting power ofGaN epitaxy layer grown on silicon base, it is about 8mw, the highest is 10mw, the yield rate is 80%. The emitting power of power LED dieis 100‵150mw under 350mA. Its blue light attenuation is less than 5% after tested under 500mA for 1000h.

There are more than 30 units who are engaged in researching and producing LED epitaxy and die, it is estimated the annual output of high bright LED die in 2006 is 12 每15 billion pieces, among which 4 billion pieces are blue and green dies. Major manufacturers are: Xiamen San-an, Dalian Luming, Shenzhen Fangda Quoke, Shanghai Blue Light, Shanghai Lanbao, Shandong Huaguang, Nanchang Sunrise, Jiangxi Lianchuang, Shanghai Advanced, Hebei Lede,Huineng Power (Hebei), Shenzhen Orient, Podium Photonics(Guangzhou), Silan Azure (Hangzhou), Yangzhou Huaxia Integration, New Dimension (Gansu) and Xiamen Changelight. They have done a lot in the R & D and processing technology, and are fruitful on raising product performance, yield rate, process repeatability, anti-light attenuation ability and reliability, thus ensuring the lot production of LED die.

3﹜Technology on LED packaging and industrial trends

The capability on LED packaging in China is very strong, according to preliminary investigation, there are more than 100 enterprises who have ability in doing LED packaging with large scale while about 500 每 600 enterprises with small scale. The total capability of packaging is 30 billion pieces per year. The export quantity of processed LED is as many as 10 billion pieces per year. It is estimated that the LED packaging capability in China (including foreign invested enterprises) could be as high as 50 billion pieces per year. These enterprises are : Xiamen Hualian Electronics, Foshan Nation Star, Jiangsu Wenrun, Cotco Holdings (Huizhou), Shenzhen Quantum, Ningbo Hepo, Jiangxi Lianchuang, Tianjin Tianxing, Langfang Golden Valley, Shenzhen Ledman. They can package various LED products like: LED display of different outline dimension, single LED, complex LED, pixel LED, digital display, back light source, SMD-LED, miniature LED, matrix display, special display, white LED, power LED and power LED module, etc. The match capability of the material for packaging and matched parts is good, industrial chain has been created. Whatshould be stressed here is that about a dozen of enterprises in China are able to provide phosphor to package the white LED. In recent years, better result has been achieved in increasing phosphor light excitated efficiency and ability in anti-light attenuation.

Regarding the packaging of white light and power LED, better equipped companies had devoted great effort to its process and product research and development. They are: No. 13 Institute of China National Electronic Group, Xiamen Hualian Electronics, Foshan Nation Star, Shenzhen Quantum, Cotco Holdings (Huizhou), main technical problems in the power LED packaging have been solved gradually in the process R & D, such as increasing lighting efficiency in packaging andbase heat sink performance, reducing heat resistance,raising anti-light attenuation capability and operation life. At the same time, major technical problems have been solved in the packaging process for white LED like : the control on the lighting uniformity, consistency, the color temperature and color display, anti light attenuation ability, reliability and white light parameter testing, etc. At present, white light and power LED devices could be lot packaged, the light efficiency of 1W white LED can reach 50‵60lm/w, heat resistance is 10k/w.

4﹜Application of high brightness and white LED

in Besides the above three major advantages of the high bright LED, there are still strong points such as compact size, low driving current, adjustable colors and good light focus, etc. With the increasing of LED lighting intensity, its application is also brodening. According to preliminary investigation, there are more than 1000 enterprises that have been undertaking the R & D and manufacturing of high bright and white LED application products. Some enterprises who have been engaging in producing ordinary lighting devices have started the R & D and manufacturing of special LED lighting application parts, mainly on the application research and development of special lighting and color lighting. Through the popularization of LED application products, it allows people in other industry and the civilians to know LED, to enjoy LED and make use of LED.

At present in China, the emphasis of LED application development is a bit different with that in the world. In addition to the usage of display on various electrical appliances and devices, instrumentation and equipment, concentration is on the following:

  • Development on the application of big, medium and small LED display, estimated market value is RMB 4 billion;
  • Development on the application of traffic lights, estimated market value is aboutRMB 1 billion;
  • Development of various special lighting and color lighting, that is, sight lighting, decoration lighting and all kinds of special lights, estimated market value is some dozens of billion RMB.

Besides the above, some enterprises in China are developing big area LED back light source, from some dozen inches to some dozens of inches, used in LCD back light source. The prototype models have been successfully made. There are still some enterprises who are developing various LED lamp and display in automobiles and application products combining LED lighting with solar energy as well as the matched parts for LED application 每 lead frame, lamps and lanterns, connectors, light tubes, plastic and metal pieces. In conclusion, LED application in China keeps broadening, market demand and development is growing fast.

5﹜LED Equipment and instruments to produce LED

LED producing equipments could be divided into: front processes 每 epitaxy, die; back processes 每 packaging, inspecting and testing equipments. At present time in China, main equipment, automation units and a portion of optical test equipment for producing LED are imported from abroad. However, there are still many manufacturers and research institutes who are developing and producing these equipments, they are: CETC No. 48 Research Institute has been developing and researching MOCVD epitaxy equipment, producing epitaxy oven that has 20pcs production capability; CETC No. 45 Research Institute is developing and producing auto packaging equipment of front and back processes and has achieved good result. There are still other traditional equipment manufacturers who have been developing various manufacturing equipments and instruments. As for the LED optical parameters testing equipments, there are some enterprises in China who are developing and manufacturing, they are: Institute of Photo electricity of ChinaComputationCollege; Hangzhou Sensing Instruments; Zhejiang Everfine Photo-E; They are in the leading position in China in this aspect. However, there is still difference in manufacturing these equipments in China as compared to that in the world, further and urgent development is expected.

k Main factors and measures to push LED development

In recent years, the development of high bright LED industry in China is very fast, this is mainly because of the state high recognition and capital support as well as the promotion of various organization of different specialties. Brief introduction in this regard is as follows:

  • State policy and measures
      • Programming of high bright LED in the ※10th Five-Year Plan§ period has been worked out by the state ministries or committees concerned. More specific programming to speed up the development of high bright LED and semiconductor lighting industry in the ※11th Five-Year Plan§ has been set down.

2)※State Coordination leading group for semiconductor engineering§ was established in June, 2003 by the State Scientific Technology Ministry and other departs concerned, to instruct and guide the development of LED industry. Shanghai, Xiamen, Shenzhen, Nanchang, Dalian were confirmed as industrialization bases of semiconductor lighting project, thus actively pushing forward its implementation.

3) ※ Semiconductor Workgroup of Semiconductor Lighting Technology Standard§ was set up in Nov. 2005 by the State IT Ministry, which consists of departs concerned, association of various specialties, universities, institutes and enterprises, it contains 47 member units, instructing the establishment of LED standard in China. At present, 11 high bright LED basic standards and product standards are under way; this has actively promoted the development of high bright LED industry.

  • So far there are more than 100 foreign invested enterprises that are related to LED. With the further implementation of the government policy of reform and open-to-the-world, continuous improvement of investment environment as well as its increasingpotential market, more and more investment from all over the world will be attracted to mainland China, especially for that from Taiwan, Korea and Japan, possibility of large scale investment is even more. It is most likely that Mainland China will become one of the important bases for the world LED industry in the near future.
  • Increase investment to LED industry

In recent years, in order to seize the good opportunity to develop LED industry, most enterprises no matter state-owned or private have increased their input of manpower, material resources and capital.

  • State input

During the ※10th Five-Year Plan§, with the capital support by the government as per our state ※863 Program§, many universities and research institutes are fruitful on researching and developing LED project. At the same time, capital was invested to R & D and industrialization of LED in the form of Innovation Fund, Development Fund, Industrialization Project and Scientific Research Fund by the State Scientific Technology Ministry, IT Ministry, Development & Reform Committee and Education Ministry. Many provincial and city governments have invested to develop high bright LED industry in various form, too.

2ㄘInput by enterprises

In recent years, many enterprises input a lot of in human resources. They employeda lot of photo-electron specialty doctors, masters and bachelors to extend their development team. At the same time, they introduced professional people and students from foreign countries. In addition, they increased capital investment and R&D facilities, and extend industrial scale. Recently 50-60 MOCVD epitaxy equipments and several hundred of automatic equipments for LED manufacturing have been introduced to China. A lot of private enterprises also invested a great deal of capital to enter into LED industry.

3﹜Special institute activities and intercourse

The rapid development of high bright LED industry could not be achieved without the help of all kinds of activities and technical intercourse held by related associations of this specialty.Following is the brief introduction to them.

1) Opto Branch of COEMA

This institute consists of more than 150 domestic enterprises. They include domestic main universities, research institutes and manufacturers. Its main responsibility is to organize research and scientific intercourse for domestic LED industry as well as mini special research conference on LEDs, to collect information concerned and provide consultation and intercourse, to organize and compile related information and prepares LED industrial standard.

2) ChinaSolidState Lighting Alliance

This alliance consists of main domestic enterprises. Its responsibility is to carry out activities of promoting LED and semiconductor illumination industry development concerned, to organize special research and promotion for LED industry.

3) LED Division of China Optics and Optoelectronics Manufacturers Association

The association consists of more than 100 domestic enterprises that concerned with LED Display screen products. Its main responsibility is to carry out activities of LED Display screen industry.

4) CIES (China Illuminating Engineering Society), CALI (China Association of Lighting Industry)

These two organizations hold intercourse conference of semiconductor illumination application besides their own business.

The move mentioned above is certainly an important impetus for promoting domestic ultra bright LED and semiconductor illumination industry development.

l Peroration

In recent years, although Ultra Bright LED and semiconductor illumination industry has been developed quickly, and its industrial chain has come into being initially. However, there is still a long way to catch up with advanced technical level and industrial scale overseas. Hence we should strengthen investigation and development of LED core technology (epitaxy, chip) and application technology and have some breakthrough. We should enter ordinary illumination field progressively, thus we are able to make good progress in ultra bright LED and semiconductor illumination industry.

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