Nichia starts in-house production and sales of high-power red laser diodes in addition to its long-standing production of blue and green

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Highlights:
・By enabling in-house production of laser diode chips for all three primary colors (RGB), a variety of customer requests can now be met.
・Accelerates the development and commercialization of higher efficiency and higher output products to expand into various applications.
・Upfront investments secure production capacity to meet strong demand.

Tokushima, Japan – 22 November 2023: Nichia, the world's largest GaN-based LED/LD manufacturer and inventor of high-brightness blue and white LEDs, has started in-house production of a high-power red laser diode (LD) chip and will sell laser packaged products including this high-power red LD chip beginning in spring of 2024.

Background:
Compared to those using conventional lamps or LED light sources, laser projectors with the three primary colors of Red, Green, and Blue have the advantage of a much wider color reproduction range, as well as the ability to achieve high brightness while maintaining compact size and high efficiency. In recent years, the demand for such projectors has been rapidly increasing, not only for high-luminance movie theater projectors, but also ones for individual consumers such as laser TVs1 and small smart projectors.

LDs play an important role in determining the specifications of projectors, and Nichia has been required to flexibly respond to various customer requests for the performance of each RGB color LD. Nichia had been manufacturing blue and green LD chips in-house; however, the red LD chips had been procured from outside suppliers. Therefore, the quality, cost, and supply of red LD chips were dependent on suppliers, and the challenge was how to meet the various needs of customers.

Details:
Nichia started development of watt-class high-power red LD chips and succeeded in producing them in-house. Furthermore, Nichia has aggressively made upfront investments in mass production facilities and secured production capacity to meet the strong demand for RGB LDs. In addition to blue and green LD chips, which are Nichia's strong technologies, this in-house production will enable Nichia to manufacture all three primary color LD chips, allowing Nichia to flexibly consider and respond to various requests from customers.
Nichia will start selling LD packages utilizing its in-house manufactured red LD chips beginning in spring of 2024. In addition, the red LD chips used in existing products will be gradually replaced with internally produced chips, rather than those procured from external suppliers. Nichia's QuaLas™ RGB is an example of an LD product with multiple RGB LD chips densely mounted in one small package. It will be one of Nichia's main products with in-house red LD chips. QuaLas™'s optical output power in each RGB color is 8.3W for blue (wavelength: typ. 465nm), 4.8W for green (wavelength: typ. 525nm), and 10.0W for red (wavelength: typ. 643nm), suggesting a suitable combination for providing a good white balance for the display. (Figures 1 and 2)

To address the increasing market demand and advancements in performance for laser projectors, as well as explore further application possibilities, Nichia will accelerate the development and commercialization of red LD products with improved efficiency and output power by implementing in-house manufacturing.

Note: [1] Laser TVs: Ultra-short-throw laser projectors used as alternatives for home-use televisions, etc.
 

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