LED demand boom drives sapphire production expansion

LED demand boom drives sapphire production expansion

Market news |
By eeNews Europe

Sapphire ingot equipment production capacity (TIE) in 2013 was 145 million mm per year. Booming LED market demands starting in the first half of 2014 lead to a supply squeeze in ingot, causing prices to rise slightly. Moreover, several manufacturers restarted expansion plans due to increased demand for sapphire material used in mobile device application. Sapphire ingot equipment production capacity is forecast to increase 53 percent YoY to 222 million mm per year in 2014.

In terms of sapphire wafer, manufacturers have been actively expanding sapphire wafer production. With consideration to market demand and tax rate, Taiwanese manufacturers Crystalwise, Tera Xtal Technology, and Crystal Applied Technology have set their sights on expanding production in China. Global sapphire substrate market value for LED application in 2013 was $549 million and is anticipated to increase to $934m by 2016.

PSS manufacturers have benefited from Taiwanese and Chinese LED chip manufacturers’ introduction of PSS in mass. Manufacturers including Rigidtech,
Crystalwise, Zhejiang Crystal-Optech, and Sino Nitride Semiconductor have seen good performance after switching from 2 inch to 4 inch pattern sapphire substrate production. PSS market market value has increased eight percent from $656m in 2013. The continued increase in manufacturers introducing PSS and rise in large size wafer production volume will drive up PSS market market value to $1.1 billion by 2016 predicts LEDinside.

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