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BridgeLux eyes mobile market with smaller chips

The US-headquartered LED manufacturer says that its new side-emitting chips will be ramped into volume production before the end of this year.

BridgeLux, the US company that specializes in elongated LED chips, has released a product line based on smaller die in a bid to penetrate the mobile handset market.

The firm claims that its "BSV" series of side-view products will allow designers of cell-phones, digital cameras and other portable electronic devices to develop thinner displays.

The new chips are based on elongated die measuring 10 mm x 18 mm and 10 mm x 23 mm that are manufactured at BridgeLux's volume production facility in Taiwan.

According to BridgeLux, the new product line is already being sampled, and is set to be ramped into volume production by the end of the year.

CEO Bob Walker says that the aim of the launch is to apply high-quality, high-power LED technology to mobile applications.

Mobile devices are still the key application market for high-brightness LEDs, accounting for around half of the total value of the sector. However, it has now become a somewhat commoditized business.

With the decline in the average selling price of HB-LEDs used in mobile phone backlights now outweighing the market's growth, chip manufacturers are pushing to penetrate new, higher-value, applications such as large-area backlighting for high-definition television.

BridgeLux's new product line is based on the intellectual property set out in its first awarded US patent - number 6,869,812. This patent recently became the subject of a lawsuit in which the Sunnyvale, CA, company is embroiled, with BridgeLux accusing rival LED maker Cree of infringement.

Cree is already a major player in the mobile handset market, which accounts for around half of its $100 million-plus quarterly revenue through sales of LED chips for backlighting applications. It alleges that BridgeLux is infringing two of its own US patents.

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