A conventional 60-watt LED light from the DIY center contains around ten LEDs. Thousands and thousands of these kinds of LEDs, with surfaces measuring from half a square millimeter to one square millimeter, can be cut from an LED wafer with a diameter of six inches. In future these wafers will be produced at the new OSRAM plant in Kulim. They will be used for household lights but also for car interiors, lighting for offices and shops, and displays of all kind.
The 100,000m² facility, located around 40 kilometers from the OSRAM plant in Penang, is still a building site. However, production is on track to begin at the end of 2017. Once the final phase of construction is completed in 2020 this will be the largest and most modern LED chip factory in the world. By 2020 the market for general LED lighting will be growing by up to 9% annually. OSRAM is well placed to become the market leader in this field. "Thanks to Kulim we will be undercutting even the top Chinese competitors in terms of cost," says Andreas Guan, Head of Strategic Marketing and Planning at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors. This is made possible by locational advantages such as lower factor costs. Costs per chip are coming down as well, thanks to the high production volumes, something that will also benefit other LED operations within OSRAM Opto Semiconductors. The product will be superior to the competition in more than just price terms, however. It will also be of a higher quality, partly because of OSRAM's experience and technological edge, but also because the Kulim plant will be the first to bring together all of the production steps involved in chip manufacturing under one roof. The Regensburg, Penang and Wuxi sites will continue to perform individual work steps. "But in Kulim we can now control the entire system of LED chip manufacturing from beginning to end," explains Emmanuel Dieppedalle, SSL General Manager at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors. For customers this means optimum flexibility for their specifications – for OSRAM it represents a quantum leap in production capabilities.