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Nichia Settlement Prompts Taiwanese LED Ramp

Now that Nichia has settled outstanding litigation with Epistar, reports suggest that production of both AlGaAs and GaN chips is set for a dramatic ramp-up in Taiwan's newly-consolidated LED manufacturing base.

Ongoing consolidation of the LED chip manufacturing industry in Taiwan and a thaw in relations between Nichia and Epistar appear to be driving a sharp upturn in output volumes from the region.

Last week, Nichia and Epistar settled their intellectual property dispute amicably after Epistar apparently promised to respect Nichia's patents.

Nichia said that the settlement had been aided by the fact that it had always maintained a good relationship with United Epitaxy Company (UEC), whose operations were taken over by Epistar in a deal that closed late last year.

The addition of UEC has strengthened considerably Epistar's capacity for GaN chip manufacture. According to a report from, Epistar will more than double its blue LED capacity from 150 million chips per month to 350 million this year. Epistar recently purchased five new reactors from Aixtron for GaN production (see related story).

And it seems that Epistar's rivals are making similar moves. South Epitaxy has reportedly signed a supply deal with GaN specialist Toyoda Gosei, again a result of Nichia relaxing its intellectual property position.

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