News & Events

Epistar optimistic about miniLED demand in 2Q-3Q21

LED epitaxial wafer and chip maker Epistar has expressed optimism about its shipments for miniLED-backlit products in the second and third quarter of 2021.

Large-volume shipments for miniLED chips will be deferred from the end of 2020 as originally scheduled to the second or third quarter of 2021 due to delay in product certification, said company president Fan Chin-yung.

Epistar has received orders for backlighting-use miniLED chips from several vendors, Fan indicated, adding that if market response is good, subsequent demand for miniLED backlighting will see explosive growth.

Apple is expected to launch 12.9-inch miniLED-backlit iPad Pro possibly in first-quarter 2021 and Samsung Electronics its miniLED-backlit LCD TVs in the first quarter as well, stimulating demand for miniLED backlighting, according to industry sources.

Epistar is seeing its best business since 2009, with production capacity for red and IR AlGaInP LEDs already fully utilized, and all production lines will remain in operation during the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays in mid-February, said Fan.

Demand for sensing, horticultural lighting, automotive display and regular lighting applications has been strong, Fan said.

Overall utilization of production capacity rose to 70-80% in September 2020, Fan said. Epistar has modified a large portion of manufacturing equipment for blue-light LED chips for producing miniLED chips, with the modification to be completed by the end of first-quarter 2021.

Shipments for miniLED chips will begin to contribute to consolidated revenues in first-quarter 2021 and peak in the second or third quarter of the year, Fan noted.

While the overall LED market will continue to see oversupply, production capacity for high-end LEDs, including miniLED, will be insufficient to meet demand, Fan indicated.