LONDON – Toshiba has announced that this month it will start production of white light emitting diodes intended for use by makers of general purpose and industrial lighting using Bridgelux technology.
The white LEDs are made using gallium nitride grown on 200-mm diameter wafers of silicon. Toshiba said it plans to ramp capacity up to 10 million LEDs per month and said it wants to secure a 10 percent market share by 2016.
Production of LED chips is typically done on 2- to 4-inch sapphire wafers. Bridgelux Inc. (Livermore, Calif.) developed a method of manufacturing gallium nitride LEDs on 200-mm silicon wafers, which provides a cost advantage. With backing for Bridgelux from Toshiba, that process was brought to Kaga Toshiba Electronics Corporation, a discrete products manufacturing facility in northern Japan. Plessey Semiconductors Ltd. (Plymouth, England) has also adopted a GaN-on-Si process for LED production but is presently ramping with 6-inch diameter wafers.
The first product of the Toshiba GaN-on-Si line is the TL1F1 series of LEDs that produce 112 lumens at 350-milliamps current. The packaged parts measure 6.4-mm by 5.0-m by 1.35-mm.
There are 150 engineering schools in the state of Kerala with graduates leaving India for the allure of companies elsewhere in the world. The state of Kerala wants to keep these engineers right there in this region where they have graduated and is trying to create a “Silicon Valley” in India.
For decades, electronics product innovation has been incremental in nature, relying largely on the next generation of semiconductors to deliver performance improvement. For almost 50 years Moore’s Law has delivered 2x performance (power or cost) improvement in semiconductors every 18 months, outpacing any product or system level innovation cycle that could be achieved by even the most ambitious hardware teams. What has evolved is a “sit & wait” approach, to product innovation. However it is now clear that Moore’s law is broken, and the implications are profound for hardware designers.
You’re in a small company that needs to turn a product quick. Nobody in the company has any power supply design experience yet you need to drive LEDs from a universal (US and European) wall input voltage. What do you do?