General lighting applications drive LED market

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By eeNews Europe

Today, the market for packaged LEDs represents a volume of $13,9 billion. For the next five years, the market researchers predict a moderate growth until it will peak out at a volume of $16 billion in 2018. During the same period, lighting applications will take an increasing share of the total market – from 45% to 65%. Nevertheless, displays still represent a significant share of this total market but here the dynamics are different. While today most available products utilize LED technology, the rise of the OLED market along with a mixture of price pressure and market saturation will make this market decline starting from 2013/2014. In contrast to general lighting where the price decline led to increasing market volume, in the display lighting the overcapacity-induced price decline causes the market to decline.

Fig. 1: LED market development through 2020. For better resolution click here.

Three major factors will determine the further development of the industry and the market: Further cost reductions will be needed to keep the momentum up; the merger of the LED industry with the lighting industry has just started, and emerging substrates could change the rules of the game in the industry. While Sapphire and SiC remain the most widely used substrates for GaN epitaxy, many research activities are driving the change-over towards better alternatives. For example, GaN-on-Si could allow the LED production to switch to 8" wafers, processed in fully depreciated and highly automated CMOS fabs, leading to a generally lower price level. However, before manufacturer can benefit from this degree of automation, a number of barriers have to be overcome. In the case of GaN-on-Si LEDs, the manufacturing yields are still too low and the full compatibility to CMOS fabs has not yet been achieved. Similar barriers apply to the major alternative to GaN-on-Si, GaN-on-GaN: this technology currently suffers from high cost and low GaN substrate availability.

The report, available from Yole Développement, describes in detail the LED market metrics, analyses the supply / value chain (broken down by region and technology), and offers a detailed analysis of each LED application.


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