Despite mounting pressure from Silicon and GaN, Sapphire has so far remained the substrate of choice for the manufacturing of high brightness LEDs. Excited by the fast growth of Solid State Lighting and a temporary sapphire material shortage in 2010 that led to skyrockecting prices, many companies and investors have rushed into the opportunity and built up excessive amount of capacity. A year later, most of those newcomers are in a dire straight, fighting to enter the LED supply chain, and for those who succeeded, struggling to keep cost under control and margins afloat in a depressed pricing environment. A less known application, Silicon On Sapphire has consistently provided a nice upside for the happy fews that have been able to secure a spot in this supply chain. With the realm of its high volume applications possibly expanding in the near future, SOS is getting more and more attention. But the big buzz of 2012 is certainly the emergence of Sapphire as a potential candidate for non substrate applications. After annecdotal presence in some luxury cell phones and a first high volume design win as a camera lens cover in the new iPhone 5, the industry is riddled with rumors of potential adoption of sapphire as a display cover. If typical smartphone volumes are considered, this could trigger an imprecedented wave of investment. In this webcast, we will look at the recent status of the sapphire industry including technology trends in substrates like the adoption of PSS and large diameter wafers, and discuss the challenges and opportunities related to the possible emergence of new applications.
Eric VIREY, Ph.D. holds a Ph-D in Optoelectronics from the National Polytechnic Institute of Grenoble. In the last 12 years, he’s held various R&D, engineering, manufacturing and marketing position with Saint-Gobain. Most recently, he was Market Manager at Saint-Gobain Crystals, in charge of Sapphire substrates and materials for optical telecoms. Eric has authored multipe report for Yole Developpement includingg Sapphire 2010 and 2011, LED Packaging 2011, Status of the LED Industry, LED Mantech, "II-V Epitaxy", "LED Front End Manufacturing" and "LED Phosphors"
Mike McLaughlin has been working with emerging technologies for over 12 years at IBM and Cisco and was a principal analyst at Gartner. He now leads all of Yole's activities and business development for North America. Mike is a graduate of Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.