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Osram Optoelectronics Chip Factory, Regensburg, Germany




Key Data


Osram is ramping up its new Regensburg (Germany) optoelectronics chip factory, aiming to double its opto-semiconductor production capacity by 2005. The new factory manufactures chips for LEDs, laser diodes and sensors.

Investment in the new factory is around €120 million ($129 million), including almost €90 million for machinery. The fab is in the Burgweinting industrial park in Regensburg, close to Osram's existing development.

LED LOW-ENERGY LIGHTING APPLICATIONS

The current generation of LEDs is already taking over lighting applications that particularly need miniaturization, long life and colored light. These applications are principally in automotive, signal and effect lighting. LEDs will eventually be used for all automotive lighting, including headlights. When device efficiencies rise and costs fall, they will eventually take on the huge domestic and office lighting market.

Largely because of this, market research institutes are expecting opto-semiconductors to register double digit annual growth for the foreseeable future. Osram therefore decided that the cleanroom area at the old site in Regensburg West was no longer large enough to cope with the projected demand. The two factories will work in parallel until the entire operation transfers to the new site in two years time.

As well as building the new Regensburg factory, Osram has doubled the capacity in its LED assembly plant in Malaysia.

LIGHTING LEDs FOR INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS

White light LEDs have been the key to the market's expansion. Osram's LW E67C diffused white Power TOPLED has a PLCC-4 package, for example, has a typical colour temperature of 6,500K, and a colour reproduction index of 80. The device uses an InGaN LED with 12 lm/W optical efficiency. It is suitable for all SMT assembly methods and IR reflow and TTW soldering. It works between -40°C and +100°C.

LEDs even meet stringent automotive reliability requirements. They are becoming popular both in interior and exterior automotive applications. Inside, they are illuminating car dashboards, navigation systems, switches, radios, displays and indicators. Outside, they are used in tail and stop lights, as direct indicators, side markers and rear fog lights.

Osram has recently produced "Golden Dragon" LEDs as compact components. This bright 1W light source can be incorporated in standard SMT (Surface Mount Technology) soldering processes, increasing design freedom for luminaire designers. It provides concentrated light with 20 lm/W optical efficiency. The LED is 0.8mm to 1.8mm high and comes in a 6mm x 7mm casing. The chip size is 700µm. Potential applications include car reversing lights, traffic lights, advertising boards, special lighting and back lighting for TFT and LCD displays. The LEDs can replace small incandescent lamps in, for example, bicycle lights. Depending on the operating and ambient conditions, the LEDs may last more than 20,000 hours. Volume production of white versions will start in 2003.

OPTICAL PUMPED SEMICONDUCTOR DISK LASER

The company also develops and manufactures lasers. Early in 2003, it announced an Optical Pumped Semiconductor (OPS) disk laser prototype with 8W optical output power for 19W optical pumping power at a wavelength of 980nm. The device promises to open up new applications like consumer laser projection for laser televisions. It has been developed under the miniaturized radiation sources (MISTRAL) research project, which is partly funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

SEMICONDUCTOR BASED LIGHTING AND SENSORS

Osram achieved total sales of €4.4 billion in fiscal year 2002 and employed more than 35,000 people worldwide. Osram Opto Semiconductors is a subsidiary offering semiconductor based techniques for lighting, sensors and visualization. In fiscal year 2002 (ending September) its 3,370 employees produced sales totaling €309 million.