The middle and upper reaches are the weakness of China's LED industry

At present, the global LED industry pattern centering on Asia, North America and Europe is preliminarily formed. The technology competition pattern of Japan Nichia, Toyota Synthetic, American Cree, Lumileds and European Osram is the core of the technology. US and Japanese companies have monopoly advantages in epitaxial wafers, chip technology and equipment, and European companies have outstanding advantages in applied technology.

From 1999 to 2009, among the 3,312 LED-related patents applied for in the United States, Japan ranked first, accounting for 50%, the United States second, accounting for 30%, and Taiwan, China, the third, with 11%.

Japan is the world's largest producer of LED industry, accounting for about 50% of the market share, and its trend is almost a pointer for the LED industry. China's Taiwan LED industry's revenue accounts for 17% of global revenue, second only to Japan, ahead of South Korea, Europe and the United States. Taiwan is a global consumer electronics production base and the world's largest LED downstream packaging and midstream chip production site. China's Taiwan region and the mainland mainly focus on the development of packaging and assembly, production ranks first in the world, and output value ranks second in the world.

The LED industry chain mainly consists of four parts: LED epitaxial wafer growth, chip manufacturing, device packaging and product application, in addition to related supporting industries.

In the LED industry chain, LED epitaxial wafers and chips account for about 70% of the industry's profits, LED packaging accounts for about 10-20%, and LED applications account for about 10-20%. Correspondingly, the entry barrier of the LED industry chain from upstream to downstream is gradually reduced.

The substrate material used to manufacture the LED chips is usually high quality sapphire or silicon carbide, GaAs (gallium arsenide), which is a seed crystal for epitaxial growth of various composite semiconductors. Currently, the growth of AlInGaP on GaAs substrates is a relatively mature technology, and it is expected that GaAs substrates will remain a reliable choice for substrate materials in the future. The sapphire substrate, due to its good performance on large-sized substrates, will gradually occupy a larger proportion as manufacturers continue to strive to develop into large-size substrate processes.

Epitaxial wafer growth is a key technology for LED manufacturing, and is currently commonly implemented by metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). At present, the main manufacturers of MOCVD in the world are AIXTRON of Germany and VEECO of the United States. The former accounts for 60%-70% of the international market share, while the latter accounts for 30%-40%. The equipment produced by Japan NipponSanso is basically limited to domestic sales in Japan. .

After the epitaxial growth is completed, the mid-stream chip design and processing manufacturer designs the device structure and process according to the LED performance requirements. Through epitaxial wafer diffusion and metal plating, photolithography and heat treatment are performed to form a metal electrode; then the substrate is polished and polished, and then cut. For small LED chips.

The chip package will paste and solder the lead frame, and after testing and sealing, it will be packaged into various products. White LED chips also require phosphorus to be injected into the sealant to produce white light. In principle, the smaller the chip, the higher the technical difficulty of the package.

After packaging, the products are tested, sorted, and assembled into a sub-system for use in lighting equipment. Lighting equipment (such as signal lights, screens, commercial or residential lighting equipment) in addition to LED chips, but also other optical components, LED drive circuits. The products are sold by dealers, designed by lighting design engineers and architects, and finally provided to end users.

The LED industry has formed a complete industrial chain in the world. There are many companies in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, mainly in the fields of substrate, epitaxy, chip and packaging. There are fewer companies with the strength to engage in the entire business of the LED industry chain, mainly leading companies in the United States, Japan and South Korea.

In the domestic LED industry chain, the development of epitaxial wafers and chip links in the middle and upper reaches is a relatively lagging weakness.

LED epitaxial wafers and chips have high technical requirements, and there is still a certain gap between the two in China and the international advanced level. At present, the production of extension chips and chips at home and abroad is limited. There are only about 10 companies engaged in the production of LED epitaxial wafers, and there are not many manufacturers of LED chips. Domestic LED epitaxial materials and chips are mainly in the middle and low range. More than 80% of power LED chips and devices are imported, and the output of epitaxial wafers can only meet 20% of the demand of packaging enterprises.

There are more than 3,000 LED enterprises in China, 70% of which are concentrated in the downstream industry. The LED packaging products have reached the world's first, and the technical level and product quality are uneven. The main reason for the shrinking of the upstream and downstream of China's LED industry is that the mainstream technology of LED is mostly controlled by developed countries. The domestic lack of independent intellectual property rights and core technologies, the patent risks faced by enterprise development are increasing, and production equipment is backward. And the industrialization of scientific research results is not smooth.

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