Info
Info
News Article

Oil-free Korea Prioritizes Solid-state Lighting Project

With no domestic oil supply, the Korean government is very keen on LED technology and is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into "LED Valley". Richard Stevenson reports.
Energy savings and the environment are the key driving forces behind Korea s semiconductor-lighting national program, explained Young Moon Yu, as he addressed delegates at the recent Strategies in Light conference. Yu, who is the director of the LED research and business development division at the Korea Photonics Technology Institute (KOPTI), and the organizer of the national LED and semiconductor lighting program, explained: "The Korean government has a strong interest in energy savings, because we don t have any crude oil."



In 2002 Korea consumed 278 TWh of electricity at a cost of $20 billion. More than 20% of this energy was used for lighting. According to Yu, if LEDs achieved complete penetration of the lighting market they would reduce the national power demand by the output equivalent of three nuclear power stations.
"The Korean government wants to [adhere to] environmental pollution agreements," added Yu, who points out that reducing Korea s energy requirements would help to decrease carbon dioxide emissions and allow the country to meet targets set by the Kyoto Protocol. Yu also notes that an increased dependence on LED-based lighting would reduce the use of glass, phosphors and heavy metals, and would help adherence to new environmental regulations coming into force on July 1, 2006.

Three-stage development


Korea s LED industry has evolved in three stages. Early research and development was undertaken by LG and Samsung, the two domestic companies that continue to dominate Korea s consumer electronics industry and LED efforts, along with several universities and a program organized by the Korea Research Institute for Standards and Science that ran from 1993 to 1996. A business phase followed between 1999 and 2000, with several firms funded though venture capital and initial production runs at LG and Samsung.


The current activation phase, which began in 2001, has seen the number of companies involved in the LED industry rise to more than 340. This has provided Korea with a research and development manpower of about 1000 for the III-nitride industry alone. Key research topics now include high-efficiency and high-reliability devices, UV-LEDs, GaN on silicon and other non-sapphire substrates, ZnO LEDs, high-power packaging and modules, and phosphors for blue LEDs.



KOPTI is central to much of the current development. The government-backed organization is located in Gwangju, in south-west Korea, and is devoted to the development of the photonics industry. Its roles are to help commercialize basic and applied photonics technologies, to build an advanced technology infrastructure and to implement a comprehensive industrial support system.


Housed in a 35,640 m2 building that includes a 1789 m2 cleanroom, KOPTI owns 384 pieces of equipment that have a combined value of $65 million, and has access to funding of $20 million each year. It employs 70 PhD-educated staff, a number that will rise to 150 in 2008. Its facilities cover all aspects of LED production, from InP, GaAs and GaN epitaxial growth on 2 to 4 inch substrates, through materials characterization and various processing stages, to packaging and performance and reliability testing. The national government meets 73.1% of KOPTI s costs, with Gwangju city (16.5%) and industry (10.4%) making up the remainder.


Korea s LED infrastructure is now benefiting from the launch of a national program for the display industry, in which Samsung and LG are big players internationally. This program covers development of LCDs, electronic paper and organic electroluminescence, and runs from 2004 to 2008. In Gwangju, which is also known as the "city of light", a mixture of national and local government and private-sector investment has been funding LED development since 2000.


Through the so-called LED Valley project, the region will also receive $100 million between 2005 and 2008 toward high-brightness (HB) LED development. This initiative will involve the construction of 310,000 m2 of building space, while a solid-state lighting and display center with research and development support will also be established.


Gwangju is also set to receive a further $430 million over the next four years, which will be split between the second phase of a photonics industry project investigating HB-LEDs and a venture to deploy fiber-to-the-home networks to 20,000 households.


With all this funding in place, Yu predicts that the larger companies will first look to penetrate television-backlighting application markets in 2006, before re-focusing efforts on external car lighting in 2008. Domestic lighting applications are expected to follow at the end of the decade. The smaller companies will concentrate on municipal lighting applications, such as the illumination of bridges, roadsides and other public spaces.



AngelTech Live III: Join us on 12 April 2021!

AngelTech Live III will be broadcast on 12 April 2021, 10am BST, rebroadcast on 14 April (10am CTT) and 16 April (10am PST) and will feature online versions of the market-leading physical events: CS International and PIC International PLUS a brand new Silicon Semiconductor International Track!

Thanks to the great diversity of the semiconductor industry, we are always chasing new markets and developing a range of exciting technologies.

2021 is no different. Over the last few months interest in deep-UV LEDs has rocketed, due to its capability to disinfect and sanitise areas and combat Covid-19. We shall consider a roadmap for this device, along with technologies for boosting its output.

We shall also look at microLEDs, a display with many wonderful attributes, identifying processes for handling the mass transfer of tiny emitters that hold the key to commercialisation of this technology.

We shall also discuss electrification of transportation, underpinned by wide bandgap power electronics and supported by blue lasers that are ideal for processing copper.

Additional areas we will cover include the development of GaN ICs, to improve the reach of power electronics; the great strides that have been made with gallium oxide; and a look at new materials, such as cubic GaN and AlScN.

Having attracted 1500 delegates over the last 2 online summits, the 3rd event promises to be even bigger and better – with 3 interactive sessions over 1 day and will once again prove to be a key event across the semiconductor and photonic integrated circuits calendar.

So make sure you sign up today and discover the latest cutting edge developments across the compound semiconductor and integrated photonics value chain.

REGISTER FOR FREE

VIEW SESSIONS

Info
×
Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
×
Logo
×
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Compound Semiconductor Magazine, the Compound Semiconductor Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.


Please subscribe me to:

 

You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in:
 
X
Info
X
Info
{taasPodcastNotification}
Live Event