Taiwan-based Epistar is expanding its LED wafer and chip production capacity at KFES Lighting (Xiamen) – a joint venture (JV) with China-based China Electronics in southeastern China – from nine MOCVD sets currently to 30 in 2014, according to sources with the LED supply chain.
As demand for LED lighting is taking off, Epistar is also enhancing operations at its other plants in China, including: Episcrystal in Changzhou, a JV with Taiwan-based Lite-On Technology and China-based LCD TV vendor Konka; and United (Shandong) LED in northern China, a JV with Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC).
The JVs are expected to account for 10-15% of Epistar’s consolidated revenues, the company indicated.
About Epistar Corp.
Epistar Corp. is the largest manufacturer of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in Taiwan. The company was established in 1996, and its headquarters are in the Northern Taiwanese city of Hsinchu. In 2009 it had an annual turnover of NT$10 billion. Epistar specialises in high-brightness LED products, which are used in general lighting, traffic signals, and various consumer products such as mobile phones and laptop computers. The company supplies the LED backlighting for Samsung liquid crystal displays. It is the world’s largest manufacturer of red and yellow LEDs, and holds over 1000 patents. It has a history of patent disputes with competitor Philips Lumileds over the use of AlInGaP LED technology. However in September, 2009, Philips Lumileds signed an agreement to license AlInGaP technology to Epistar.