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Osram to build chip plant in Malaysia

German lighting giant Osram is to expand two of its Opto Semiconductors subsidiary's factories in a multi-million euro program, which includes converting its Asian packaging facility into a chip making base.

Europe s number-one LED company, Osram, has underlined the importance of LED applications to its future by building an additional chip-making plant for its Osram Opto Semiconductor business.

The massive Munich-based firm will also expand existing assembly plants at its Penang, Malaysia and Regensburg, Germany sites.

The new chip factory will be built at its site in Penang, where Osram OS has operated since 1999, and where it currently produces its Pictiva OLED displays.

A spokesperson for Osram said that the Penang chip production line would be focussed upon back-end processing, with all the epitaxy remaining based in Regensburg.

The company told compoundsemiconductor.net, “The new line will produce chips based on ThinGaN and SiC material for high power appliances in applications such as LCD backlighting, general illumination and automotive lighting.”

It also explained that, rather than being built specifically to house novel technologies, the new facilities were required to meet the growing demand for existing LED-based lighting products.

Ruediger Mueller, CEO of OSRAM OS, supported this outlook, saying, “The expansion of our production sites is our response to increased demand for LEDs throughout the world.”

The company also underlined the operational advantages the new sites would bring.

Multiple sites will ensure a consistent supply chain, from which it is easy to meet demand for its products across the world.

The increased capacity will also help Osram to drive down costs as it continues to develop higher brightness LEDs.

Although the company did not reveal how much money it is to spend on the expansions, it did indicate that at both sites the work was to cost “high double figures of millions of euros.”

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