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High-end UV-C LED chips in tight supply

High-end UV-C LED chips have been in tight supply along with increasing demand for disinfection applications in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to industry sources.

International vendors, such as Osram Opto Semiconductors and Nichia, are unwilling to sell UV-C LED chips alone but prefer sales of packaged UV-C LED devices for higher gross margins, the sources explained.

Osram at the end of 2020 unveiled Oslon UV 3636, its first UV-C LED device, the sources noted. With UV wavelength of 275nm, low-power Oslon UV 3636 has light power output of 4.5mW at 30mA and a mid-power model has that of 42mW at 350mA. Osram will offer high-power models in 2021.

While UV-C LED devices vary in light power output, 5-7mW models for disinfecting water and purifying air see significant demand, the sources noted.

LED device maker Lite-On Technology has reported consolidated revenues of NT$14.077 billion (US$496 million) for January, increasing 4.74% sequentially and 24.42% on year.

Of the revenues, 55% came from IT product lines including power supplies for servers, PCs and mobile devices; 20% from optoelectronics products including automotive CCMs, LED devices and lighting; and 25% from devices for cloud computing, data centers, servers, networking/communication equipment, IoT and AI application, Lite-On indicated.

LED packaging service provider Ledtech Electronics' subsidiary Energyled has become a Taiwan sales agent for UV-C LED products developed by Netherlands-based Signify.