IP, Reports & Roadmaps | Sep 04, 2006

Ya Hsin acquires Osram’s LED technology for general lighting

Taipei, Ya Hsin Industrial Co., Ltd. will become the first Taiwanese manufacturer to license white-LED technology for general lighting purpose from Osram should the two companies sign an agreement early next month.

Ya Hsin is a midsized supplier of built-to-order electronics devices in Taiwan. The company has recently branched out into optoelectronics manufacturing. It has maintained close business ties with lamp makers Osram and Philips by supplying them ballasts and power supplies for lamps.

Although Osram has licensed LED technology to Taiwanese manufacturers including Everlight Electronics Co., Ltd., Lite-On Technology Corp. and Harvatek Corp., the technology can be used to make backlight modules. This time, the German company will license the technology for making general lighting products, which are much more valuable than backlights.

Industry watchers expected the day for LED lighting to become realized would arrive earlier than expected due to Osram’s attitude in opening technology licensing becoming more clear. They believed the licensing would help Ya Hsin lead its rivals in snatching up the scarce chances to break in LED general lighting industry.

Insiders of Taiwan’s lighting line expected that Osram and Ya Hsin would engage in many cooperation deals, which would help Ya Hsin make major breakthrough in high-power LED technology.

White LED has been billed as a darling light source for tomorrow for its mercury-free and ultraviolet-free merits, as well as power conservation, durability and low heat. Taiwanese industry watchers expected white LED and white LED lighting segments to become Taiwan’s another two industries with revenue of over NT$1 trillion (US$31.2 billion at US$1:NT$32) each soon.

Impressed by the optimistic forecasts, Lite-On and Everlight are competing to acquire licensing to use Toyoda Gose’s patented phosphor technology on their white LEDs.

So far, Osram, Toyoda Gose and Nichia are major holders of patents on phosphor technologies for making white LEDs. White LEDs are turned out by combing the phosphor powders with blue LEDs. Currently, Taiwan is the world’s largest supplier blue LED chips. However, most of the island’s blue-chip makers have yet to acquire the patent holders’ permissions to use their phosphor powder, hamstring Taiwan’s development of white LEDs.

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