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LED Packaging 2013 Report

Depending on the device type, packaging can represent 40% to 60% of LED total cost. As such, packaging represents the single-largest opportunity for cost reduction, which is required in order for the industry to access the Holy Grail that is General Lighting. However, if you're expecting this cost reduction to come from standardization, you can abandon all hope. The creativity of LED engineers and specificities of each application have led to an infinite number of package type and formats: Single or multiple chips, low and middle-power Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier (PLCC), ceramic-based high-power LED, small and large arrays, Chip On Board (COB), etc. This profusion of styles is inhibiting LED manufacturing cost reduction by multiplying the Stock keeping Unit (SkU), thus preventing standardization of the manufacturing process and the associated economies of scale.
Technological developments are also impacted by the quest for cost reduction, and LED manufacturers are now searching for equipment and/or materials with the right mix between cost and performance. As a matter of fact, equipment and materials suppliers are proposing more and more equipment and materials that fit these requirements, i.e. laser-based dicer, low-cost ceramic package substrate, etc.
In the end, LEDs are going mainstream but are still not a mature commodity! This is good news for the entire industry, since design and materials innovation still provides opportunity for differentiation. All of this benefits the consumer, who receives budget-friendly, environmentally friendly and increasingly credible LED-based alternatives for replacing traditional light sources.

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