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White LED demand `faces challenge of MOCVD tool backlog`

It has been claimed that the surge in demand for white LEDs may be restrained by a backlog of MOCVD tools as the two main manufacturers - Aixtron and Veeco Instruments - struggle.

White light emitting diode (LED) demand will increase with the announcement by Apple of its iPad, placing pressure on their tight supply and backlog in the order of metal-organic chemical vapour deposition (MOCVD) tools, it has been claimed.

Analyst Munisamy Anandan, former president and managing member of Organic Lighting Technologies, commented on the Gerson Lehrman Group s website that many in the industry expected white LEDs to stay under the remit of solid state lighting, rather than being applied as backlighting for mobile telephones, notebooks and liquid crystal display televisions.

As such, there will be a shortage of supply of white LEDs in 2010, compounded by the backlog of MOCVD tools. He said that additional pressure will be placed upon the two major manufacturers of this equipment - Veeco Instruments and Aixtron.

However, Applied Materials has recently been awarded a grant by the US Department of Energy to advance epi tools for gallium nitride LED devices. An advanced multichamber hybrid epitaxial growth system will be developed, which will also be used for MOCVD.

This could help reduce the backlog in demand in the long term but may not help with the current situation.

Mr Anandan said the surge in white LED demand will benefit LED chip manufactures such as Osram Opto Semiconductors and Nichia.ADNFCR-2855-ID-19590225-ADNFCR

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