It is reported that Epistar, an LED epitaxial wafer and chip maker, has said that due to the large number of related customers who will replenish inventory to cope with the peak demand in the fourth quarter, the demand for LED chips for lighting and backlighting is expected to rebound in the third quarter of 2018.
Due to high inventory levels, demand in the second quarter of this year was lower than expected. As the capacity of AlGaInP LED chips has been fully utilized, the corresponding revenue ratio has also increased from 25% in 2017 to the current 30-40%. In 2018, Epistar plans to further expand its production capacity by 10-20%.
Automotive display, general lighting and horticultural lighting, and infrared LED chips have strong demand for LED chips. It is expected that shipments of LED chips for horticultural lighting will increase by about 50% year-on-year in 2018. For the whole year of 2018, Epistar expects to deliver 562.998 billion LED chips in total.
In addition to LED chips, Epistar has begun production of VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) epitaxial wafers, mainly for the manufacture of optical data transmission components. In addition, Epistar will increase the production capacity of 6-inch VCSEL epitaxial wafers in the third quarter of this year for the manufacture of 3D sensors and sensing elements. The initial monthly production capacity will reach 1500 wafers, and will begin in the fourth quarter. produce.
Although Epistar is preparing to start production of Mini LED chips for backlighting of smart phones and gaming LCDs, potential customers are hoping to reduce the number of chips and lower overall production costs, and thus delayed the use of new products with Mini LED backlighting. Development.
Currently, the yield of Mini LED chips is not satisfactory. Therefore, Epistar plans to work with potential customers and equipment manufacturers in the United States and South Korea to solve the problem. It is expected that the solution will be proposed in the second half of 2018 and may be Accredited in 2019. Therefore, Mini LED applications are expected to soar from the second half of 2018 to 2019.