China LED Market Opportunities and Challenges Showcased in New LED Report

China LED Market Opportunities and Challenges Showcased in New LED Report

Global LED Capital Spending Impacted by LED TV Sales Slowdown

SEMI has released a new report, The China LED Fab Industry Report, which provides a comprehensive summary on the rapidly-growing China LED industry, including the latest data on capital and equipment spending, fab capacity, sales rankings of Chinese LED manufacturers, and other valuable information.  The report is prepared by SEMI China-based market analysts and is based on the SEMI Opto/LED Fab Watch and Forecast service that monitors LED capital spending at over 160 fabs worldwide.  The latest update of the Opto/LED Fab Watch also reflects current LED capital and equipment spending dynamics resulting in the slowdown of LCD TV sales worldwide.

China LED Fab Industry ReportRecognizing the long-term potential of solid state lighting and high-brightness LEDs, the Chinese government has supported both demand and supply sectors of the industry, estimated by some analysts to grow from approximately $10 billion in 2010 to over $100 billion worldwide by 2020.  In recent years, China and various local governments have adopted a series of industrial planning policies and incentives to promote the development of solid state lighting.  China has become the world’s leading consumer of solid state lighting and the leading producer of LCD TVs, today’s leading demand driver of high-brightness LEDs.

In response to these market developments, LED production investments have rapidly escalated.  From 2010 to 2012, the report forecasts GaN epitaxial wafer production capacity will grow over 300 percent to 1,282,000 wafers per month (2-inch equivalents) with MOCVD tool installations growing from a cumulative total 323 tools in 2010 to over 1,000 tools by the end 2012.  Capitalizing on this growth, ten new sapphire substrate projects (a market currently dominated by non-Chinese suppliers) have been announced.

Global LED Market Dynamics

The China LED market both drives and reflects global LED demand and capital spending.  Sales of LCD TVs, the primary application for LEDs today, are expected to be down to 32 million units from expected 40 million.  LG, Sony, Samsung and Panasonic all have cut sales forecasts for the year.  Taiwan-based LED firms reported July revenues down 6.35% for the month and 18.8% for the year (Digitimes).  IMS Research forecasts $8.4 billion in GaN devices in 2011, up only 4% from 2011. 

The Opto/LED Fab Watch and Forecast service reflects the impact of the forces on LED capital and equipment spending and capacity on a global, regional and fab-by-fab basis.  The latest August update of the report reduces the equipment spending forecast by 13% from the May report, but still a 23% increase over 2010 spending.  The report provides details on these changes to the fab level, including the movement of some spending by Taiwan LED manufacturers to their China joint venture projects. 

The China LED Fab Industry Report serves as a useful business tool to understand, monitor and plan business activity in the dynamic China LED market.  The 38-page report provides the latest summary of LED wafer and sapphire substrate manufacturing projects, government incentive programs, MOCVD tool forecasts, and emerging China manufacturing.  Prices for the report are US$ 2,500 for SEMI members and US$ 3,500 for non-SEMI members.  Copies of the report may be purchased from the SEMI website ( or by contacting SEMI directly at or by calling 1.408.943.6901. Information on the SEMI global Opto/LED Fabwatch and Forecast service is also available on the SEMI website at


September 7, 2011