In 2008, fewer than ten companies were developing and manufacturing UV LEDs. Since then, over 50 firms have entered the field, more than 30 of these between 2012 and 2014, mostly attracted by the high margin when overcapacity and strong price pressure from the 'LED TV crisis' had taken its toll on the visible LED industry. These firms were mostly SMEs, but recently some big companies from the visible LED industry have also secured a foothold in the UV LED lighting business.
The entry of these two giants will help to further develop the industry, the market and the technology based on their strong experience of the visible LED industry. A good example of this is that they have made a nearly full transition of their process to 6" sapphire substrates. Compared to a process based on 2" substrates, this can provide an overall productivity increase of at least 30%, which would help to further reduce manufacturing cost.
In addition, front-end and packaging expertise will help to increase UV LED device performance and provide invaluable improvements in terms of $/W.