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5 August 2015

Seoul Viosys' acquisition of controlling stake in SETi approved by US DoD

UV LED firm Seoul Viosys Co Ltd has acquired a majority stake (over 50%) in Sensor Electronic Technology Inc (SETi) of Columbia, SC, USA, which manufactures deep-ultraviolet (DUV) LED devices and modules emitting at wavelengths of 240-355nm. Seoul Viosys has subsequently decided to expand SETi's UV LED production capacity threefold by the end of 2016.

Viosys was established in 2002 as Seoul Optodevice (a subsidiary of South Korean LED maker Seoul Semiconductor Co Ltd) based on a technical cooperation with Japan's Nitride Semiconductor Co Ltd (the first firm to develop long-wavelength UV LEDs, emitting at 360-400nm, in 2001). It is said to be the first firm specializing in UV LEDs (spanning epitaxy, chip, package and module manufacturing) and the first to develop short-wavelength UV LEDs. Seoul Optodevice was renamed Seoul Viosys in 2013 to denote its expansion from a visible LED and UV LED chip maker to a UV LED system provider.

Viosys produced 365-405nm UV-A (near-UV) LEDs for the first time in 2002. But in 2005 the firm made an equity investment in SETi, and subsequently produced its first 254-340nm UV-C and UV-B (deep UV) LEDs. Viosys has since maintained close technical cooperation with SETi for over 10 years to commercialize UV LED chips with wavelengths below 350nm. Viosys is now capable of producing LEDs spanning the entire UV wavelength range (from 230nm to 405nm), and holds over 10,000 patents related to the field. Applications include the bio, hardening, forgery detection, medical appliances and sterilization markets.

Since SETi's UV LED chip patents are critical components in the aerospace and defense industries, Seoul Viosys had to pass US Department of Defense (DoD) International Traffic Arms Regulations (ITAR) and to get approval from the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which Seoul Viosys had been trying to achieve for the past three years.

"The source technology of short-wavelength UVC and RF we recently secured by obtaining the approval of US Department of Defense is the future technology essential for the space industry and defense industry," notes Viosys' representative Jae-jo Kim. "Seoul Viosys will expand this business globally based on related patents and mass-production technology."

Tags: Sensor Electronic Technology UV LEDs Seoul Optodevice

Visit: www.s-et.com

Visit: www.seoulviosys.com

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