Strong Growth in Q1’10 LED Production Capacity Driven by More MOCVD Tools in Operation


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Strong Growth in Q1’10 LED Production Capacity Driven by More MOCVD Tools in Operation

By Barry Young, Contributing Associate, IMS Research

Due to a 12 percent increase in the number of MOCVD tools in operation, the first quarter experienced strong growth in LED production capacity. A rapid increase in MOCVD tools installed in over 100 LED producers explains the increase in capacity. Supply growth is being driven by tool makers, Veeco and Aixtron, as well as integrated producers Nichia and Cree. By the end of 2009, there were over 1,400 MOCVD tools in production and in Q1’10, an additional 171 were added, creating a 12 percent increase in capacity. The growth is expected to accelerate as Veeco doubles its capacity to produce tools and Aixtron continues to increase its output. The increase in the number of tools is also being supplemented by the conversion of several 2” wafer production tools to 4” wafers.

The LED producers with the largest capacity and their associated increase in Q1’10 are shown in the following table:

The added capacity is required to keep up with growing demand as the number of notebook and LCD TVs converting from CCFL backlights to LED backlights accelerates. Penetration of LEDs into the notebook market is forecast to increase from 46 percent in 2009 to an 83 percent penetration or 80 million in 2010. LED penetration of LCD TVs is expected to grow from 3 percent in 2009 to 22 percent or 40 million TVs in 2010.

Supply is projected to grow just fast enough to keep up with demand in 2010, resulting in a secession of the 10 to 20 percent annual Average Selling Price (ASP) reduction. Because of the potential mismatch by type of LED, there may be instances of ASP increases throughout the year.

IMS Research will soon release its second quarter report on Supply/Demand of high-performance LEDs. The report also breaks down each supplier’s production in terms of four applications:

  • LED Backlights for Large Displays
  • LED backlights for Small/Medium Displays and Cameras
  • LEDs for General Lighting
  • All Other Applications including: Automotive, Displays, Signals, Flashlights

The report also shows the number of LEDs yielded through the epi process as well as the number of dies passing the binning criteria by supplier. Revenues are calculated based on packaged die ASPs.

This quarterly report will be available by June 10, 2010 from IMS Research.

SEMI Global Update

June 1, 2010