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23 April 2013

Bridgelux sells GaN-On-Si LED technology/chip-related assets to Toshiba as it focuses on lighting products

LED chip and lighting array maker Bridgelux Inc of Livermore, CA, USA has agreed to sell its gallium nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) technology and related assets to Tokyo-based semiconductor manufacturer Toshiba Corp. The firms will also strengthen and extend their strategic technology collaboration through an expanded licensing and manufacturing relationship.

In January 2012, Bridgelux and Toshiba entered into a joint development and collaboration agreement for the development of GaN-on-Si LED technologies. Last May, Toshiba also made an equity investment in Bridgelux. This followed the achievement of what was claimed to be the industry’s best-performing 8” GaN-on-silicon LED, emitting 614mW from a 1.1mm-square chip (with an operating voltage of 3.1V and a drive current of 350mA). Subsequently, in July, Toshiba announced that it would enter mass production of white LEDs (on a new production line constructed in its 200mm wafer fabrication plant at Kaga Toshiba Electronics Co Ltd) last October. Both of these milestones were achieved using Bridgelux’s crystal growth and LED device technologies as well as Toshiba’s silicon processes and manufacturing technologies.

The firms say that the new enhanced strategic relationship provides for new business opportunity through the expanded collaboration on next-generation LED chips and packages (or platforms) based on the jointly developed GaN-on-Si technology. In addition, a manufacturing deal secures Bridgelux a source of supply of GaN-on-Si LED chips for its lighting products.

“Our agreement with Toshiba marks a tremendous milestone in our long history of working closely together, allowing Bridgelux to capitalize on our strong core LED technology platform, providing us with significant new capital for growth, and reducing our capital requirements,” comments Bridgelux’s CEO Brad Bullington (who was promoted in February from VP, Strategy and Corporate Development & general manager, Technology Solutions). “This agreement also allows us to focus on what we do best, and what we think the market needs most at this point in time: commercializing, productizing and bringing to market LED-based solid-state lighting technologies alongside a proven global-scale semiconductor manufacturing partner,” he adds.

“Gaining GaN-on-silicon technology and related assets will contribute to drastically strengthening our LED business, and bring us a high-performance and competitive product line-up,” reckons Makoto Hideshima, executive VP of Semiconductor and Storage Products Company, corporate VP of Toshiba. “We fully expect our new Livermore team to play a leading role within Toshiba in the development and rapid market penetration of GaN-on-silicon LED chips,” he adds. “Entering a new phase of our relationship with Bridgelux, we will be able to accelerate the scaled manufacturing of 8” GaN-on-silicon LED wafers, which will position both companies for strong growth in our respective LED businesses,” Hideshima reckons. “The GaN-on-silicon technology that we acquire will also bring us a breakthrough for power devices development and production.”

Assets included in the sale, and the related staff, will remain at Bridgelux’s headquarters in Livermore after the transaction closes in order to assure continued technical and business collaboration between the companies.

See related items:

Toshiba invests in Bridgelux to boost GaN-on-Si LED lighting

Tags: Bridgelux GaN-on-Si LEDs



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