SEMI to Push for Collaboration, Industry Standards at DOE Solid State Lighting Manufacturing Workshop

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SEMI to Push for Collaboration, Industry Standards at DOE Solid State Lighting Manufacturing Workshop

Stan Myers, president and CEO of SEMI, will speak at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solid State Lighting Manufacturing Workshop on April 21–22, 2009 in Fairfax, Virginia. The objective of the presentation is to illustrate how the semiconductor industry’s experience in achieving remarkable cost and performance improvements is directly applicable to the solid state lighting (SSL) industry. Through a dynamic, healthy supply chain— supported by industry standards, technology roadmaps and collaborative partnerships between suppliers and manufacturers— SSL can reach cost and performance parity with current lighting technologies, dramatically reducing global energy usage.

The Lighting Efficiency Coalition estimates that by adopting energy efficiency lighting technologies, consumers and businesses will save approximately $18 billion annually on electricity bills by 2016— while saving an amount of energy equivalent to the power generated by 30 nuclear power plants (at 1,000 megawatts) or up to 80 coal-burning power plants (at 500 MW). End demand for high brightness (HB) LEDs remained strong through 2008, with unit growth up 25%, to 48 billion while revenue grew to 11%, to $5.1 billion (Strategies Unlimited). And presuming the general economy picks up again in 2010, advanced LEDs should resume their 19% annual growth rate, to reach some $12.4 billion by 2013. Lighting remains about a $450 million small slice of the total HB LED market, but that is expected to rapidly escalate $1.5 billion by 2012, and surge once cost targets are reached.

During the past decade, the cost of LED devices has decreased by 10x, primarily due to enhancements in LED device efficiency and increases in drive current. As devices become more efficient, the cost per lumen scales. In the past decade, LED efficiency has improved approximately 20-fold and this has led to the 10-fold decrease in cost per lumen (Haitz’s Law). Unfortunately, the DOE goal for 2015 requires an additional 10 to 20-fold decrease in costs while the theoretical maximum additional efficiency improvement is less than 2x. Additional cost savings must come from yield improvements, materials innovation, automation, and other manufacturing efficiencies.

The LED manufacturing process today is very similar to the semiconductor manufacturing processes in the mid-1970s. LED wafer sizes are 2–3 inch, process equipment tends to be custom made (internally modified by manufacturers), deposition processes are poorly controlled and linewidths are only a few microns. LED throughput is typically less than 50 wafers per hour with low yields. Since 1975, the semiconductor industry has made enormous strides in cost reduction, mostly through scaling, but also through manufacturing efficiencies that can be directly applied to LED manufacturing.

“LED efficiencies are approaching their theoretical limits and will lead to a further reduction in manufacturing costs by about 2x, whereas driver current increases (while maintaining high efficiencies) probably will bring another factor of about 2x,” according to Andy Hawryluk, senior vice president and chief technical officer at Ultratech. “To achieve the desired 20x cost reductions, additional manufacturing cost reductions will need to come from a combination of larger wafers and more productive tools.”

Stan Myers will discuss how the semiconductor supply chain helped deliver consistent and significant cost reductions, and how those same techniques have proven effective in the flat panel display and photovoltaic industries. These techniques include use of industry standards to reduce costs and spur innovation, and pre-competitive supply chain collaboration on technology roadmaps, technology targets and efficiency goals.

The DOE at the Solid-State Lighting Manufacturing Workshop will explore opportunities, goals, and methods for a potential new DOE manufacturing initiative designed to:

  • Reduce the cost of LED products to competitive levels
  • Ensure high product quality and consistent performance
  • Accelerate introduction of organic LED products
  • Encourage and strengthen U.S. manufacturing of solid-state lighting products

Topics include:

  • Worldwide manufacturing status and future
  • An investor's view of manufacturing options
  • Today's supply chain
  • Economics of SSL manufacture
  • Materials and supply issues
  • Equipment needs

To register for the workshop, click here.

For more information, contact;

April 1, 2009