The global packaged GaN LED market is highly competitive among the key vendors such as Cree, Epistar, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, and Samsung. These vendors are adopting new technologies to gain a competitive edge over the other market players. Cree invests in marketing activities to build its brand and expand its product offerings to position itself in both commercial and consumer lighting segments, whereas, Samsung seeks to explore business opportunities in new areas such as health, medicine, and biotechnology to enhance profitability in its OLED business.
Technavio research analyst for semiconductor equipment Asif Gani says, “Despite a low concentration of vendors, there is intense competition in this market due to the strong positions of the existing vendors. The highly competitive environment, rapid advances in technology and the cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry all pose a substantial risk to the vendors.”
Top four global packaged GaN LED vendors:
Cree relies more on innovation and develops new products that deliver economic and competitive value to its customers. The company constantly tries to improve the quality and performance of its products by developing brighter and more efficient low-cost products. They have R&D facilities in the US, India, and China. The manufacturing units of Cree are primarily located in US and China. Cree also has subsidiaries in over 10 countries, including China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, and Europe.
Major corporations such as Mitsubishi Chemical, Nichia, Seoul Semiconductor, and OSRAM Opto Semiconductors license the company's products.
Cree offers a comprehensive range of LED components, LED chips, silicon carbide wafers, and both LED as well as traditional lighting systems. The company's products are used in multiple applications such as indoor and outdoor lighting, video displays, transportation, electronic signs and signals, power supplies, inverters, and wireless systems.
Epistar is a pioneer in the design and development of high-performing packaged GaN LEDs. The company is one of the leading manufacturers of LEDs in Taiwan and is primarily engaged in developing, manufacturing, and selling LED chips and wafers. They specialize in supplying high-brightness LEDs and have a broad product portfolio that contains multiple LEDs. The major target segments for their LED products are lighting and consumer electronics.
Epistar has developed a unique Co-Activation Service Model, through which it can work in collaboration with clients to design and develop integrated circuits. This has helped customers obtain advanced LED products. The company has a capacity for expansion, which has made it a leading supplier of packaged GaN LEDs. Epistar has worked jointly with some of the best brands around the world and delivered LEDs for cellphones, monitors, laptops, and TVs.
OSRAM Opto Semiconductors
OSRAM Opto Semiconductors intends to expand its global presence by manufacturing and delivering multiple lighting products, solutions, and services to its customers. The company supplies sensors, LEDs, and visualization solutions based on semiconductor technology for the automotive market. They provide compact LEDs suited for pico and pocket projectors for small mobile terminals. This vendor also supplies surface-emitting panels for many applications in hotels and catering, offices, and architecture. The company also has a Black Series of LEDs for applications in trains, planes, automobiles, and refrigerators.
Samsung's subsidiary Samsung LED focuses more on long-term growth than short-term profits. The parent company has established a new global engine, the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Centre, with an investment of USD 100 million, to accelerate innovation and new business creation for its device solution business. In its nascent stage, this center is expected to focus on electronic components and subsystems to fuel innovation technologies and business models. This will enable Samsung LED to capitalize on its parent company's resources and gain a competitive edge over its competitors.
The packaged GaN LED market is highly competitive, with significant entry barriers such as intensive capital investment. This explains the intense rivalry between existing players, which is likely to continue during the forecast period.
The other six prominent vendors in the market are De Core Nanosemiconductors, LG Innotek, Nichia, Philips Lumileds, Seoul Semiconductor, and Soraa.