Nichia, with investment of JPY60 billion (US$549 million), is setting up dedicated production capacity for miniLED chips for backlighting applications in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan, with completion scheduled for July 2021 and production to kick off at the end of September 2021, according to Dai Tsuan-jia, general manager for Nichia Taiwan.
As car-use LED supply from Germany-based Osram Opto Semiconductors has fallen short of demand, many cevice makers have turned to Epistar for support, sending the Taiwanese firm's capacity for AlGaInP LED chips to full utilization, according to industry sources.
GaAs, InP and GaN wafer foundry service provider Global Communication Semiconductors (GCS) Holdings has disclosed it will add investment of NT$400 million (US$14.1 million) in Unikorn Semiconductor, a compound semiconductor maker spun off from LED epitaxial wafer and chip maker Epistar, to raise its stake ratio from 34.73% to 45.39%.
Taiwan Surface Mounting Technology (TSMT) will trial surface mounting of miniLED chips, ICs and other components on PCBs for use in backlighting of two MacBook models to be launched in second-half 2021, according to industry sources.
Strong demand from major clients has prompted TSMC to raise its output from its 5nm manufacturing process. The pure-play foundry house is expected to process up to 150,000 wafers monthly at the 5nm node through the end of the year. Morris Chang considers Samsung a strong competitor of the company he founded, but is skeptical about Intel's bid to expand its presence in the foundry sector. Apple has just unveiled its new miniLED-backlit iPad Pro devices powered by M1 chip. Shipments for the new devices are expected to reach 11 million units in 2021.
The three-day physical event of the Touch Taiwan 2021 exhibition kicked off on April 21 in Taipei, highlighting over 100 smart display solutions coupled with an array of new technologies and applications, according to the show organizer.
Apple is expected to soon unveil a miniLED-backlit iPad Pro, and its miniLED supply chain is ready to expand shipments, having improved yield rates. In the semiconductor sector, supply for packaging tools has been extremely tight, with equipment vendors reluctant to expand production, wary of possibly a lurking bubble in the market. And MediaTek is keen to maintain its leadership in the 5G phone market segment. The IC vendor has stepped up purchases of BT substrates for use in its 5G mobile SoCs to make sure it has enough supply.
LED chip and Si-based sensor chip maker Tyntek has begun small-volume trial production at its 6-inch epitaxial wafer factory and will gradually expand monthly production capacity there from 10,000 wafers at present to 30,000 units, according to company chairman Bosco Foo.
TSMC chairman Mark Liu took part in a White House-hosted online meeting of the world's semiconductor powerhouses on Tuesday. After the meeting, Liu reiterated the Taiwan-based foundry house's commitment to building a wafer fab in the US state of Arizona. The semiconductor supply chain has been troubled by shortages for months, with major Taiwanese IC vendors set for another wave of price hikes in second-quarter 2021. Development of microLED applications have been gaining momentum, and commercialized products may be available as early as year-end 2021.
Development of microLED applications has been gaining momentum, with commercialization of the technology likely to begin at year-end-2021 at the earliest, according to Falcon Liu, marketing director for Taiwan-based PlayNitride.
FitTech has received significant orders for equipment for probing, testing and sorting miniLED used in backlighting, with shipments scheduled until September 2021, according to company chairman Hsu Chiu-tien.
Leading China-based panel makers China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT), BOE Technology and Tianma Micro-electronics have stepped up efforts developing miniLED applications, according to industry sources.
China-based Lijing Microelectronics Technology (Jiangsu) will expand monthly miniLED packaging capacity to 800 million chips by the end of May 2021, seven months ahead of schedule, according to one of its parent companies, Leyard Optoelectronics.