News Article

Luxeon "beats" Xenon Lamp In Camera Phone Flash

Philips Lumileds reckons that its white LEDs now outperform the xenon lamps that are normally used in camera phone flashes.

Power LED manufacturer Philips Lumileds says that its Luxeon emitters can now deliver superior performance to xenon lamps for cell-phone camera flash applications.

In tests performed by the company, which is headquartered in San Jose, CA, the LED-based flash produced 1 lux sec at a distance of three meters, compared with a xenon lamp that delivered only 0.67 lux sec.

Philips Lumileds claims that this proves that LED-based flashes can now be used in cameras designed for high-quality imaging.

According to the company, the Luxeon flash enables illumination of 30 lux or more at a distance of two meters. Crucially, the LEDs are more efficient and operate at a lower voltage than xenon lamps, meaning that they do not drain so much battery power.

The camera flash is now seen as the key application in cell-phone handsets to drive future revenue growth for LED chip manufacturers. Although the keypad and display backlights still represent a huge annual market in excess of $1.7 billion, the relative maturity of backlighting technology and the rapid decline in average selling prices means that this market value will likely drop in future years.

Last year, a report from Strategy Analytics predicted that by 2009, revenues from the camera flash function would represent 36 percent of the total LED market in handsets.

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