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LED Packaging 2017: Market, Technology and Industry Landscape

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The tough environment faced by LED packagers necessitates new strategies.


Following the overcapacity caused by the recent LED TV crisis and the entry of Chinese players, industry consolidation was expected to decrease competition and stabilize price erosion. This eventually happened in China during 2014/2015, but with unforeseen effects on the overall industry. Indeed, several smaller players went bankrupt and many midsize players have since been acquired, leading to a situation where dozens of companies are having “going-out-of business” sales. This has triggered strong price decline and, naturally, other LED players had no choice but to match the price trend initiated by the Chinese industry. ASP for low and mid power LEDs declined 30% - 40% in the second half of 2015, and ASP for high power LEDs, though less affected, still declined 20% - 30%. Globally, 2015 was a rough year for the LED industry, with packaged LED revenue declining for the first time ever: from $15.1B in 2014 to $15B in 2015. This decrease was emphasized by lower-than-anticipated demand in the LED backlight and LED lighting markets. Moreover, strong evolution in currency exchange rates (due to the US dollar’s rise) contributed to many players’ declining revenue.

2016 has seen the industry begin recovering, and packaged LED ASPs have mostly stabilized for highly-commoditized stock keeping units (SKUs) like the low-power 2835 and mid-power 5630. Higher power grades for lighting applications are seeing increasing demand, but also stiffer competition, which likely will lead to a significant ASP drop as competition intensifies. Thus we expect the packaged LED market to show moderate growth in the coming years, reaching $18.5B in 2021 (CAGR 2016 - 2021: +3.4%).

Yole Packaged LED revenue forecast 2016 2021 


In this depressed environment, several players have decided to develop new strategies in order to differentiate from mainstream players and reap higher margin levels:

  • Product diversification (level 1) - towards new package types: mostly chip on board (COB) LEDs, LED filaments, flip chip (FC) LEDs, and chip-scale package (CSP) LEDs.
  • Application diversification - towards niche applications: automotive lighting, horticultural lighting, and others.

Other players are developing totally disruptive strategies for new growth relays:

  • Product diversification (level 2) - towards nonvisible LEDs: UV LEDs and IR LEDs.
  • Vertical integration - towards LED modules.

In this field, MicroLEDs are also a hot topic following Apple’s acquisition of Luxvue. A good example of these diversification trends is that the UV LED industry has seen its number of players double in the past three years. The associated market is still small compared to visible LED ($117M in 2015), but considerable growth is expected in the coming years (more than $1B in 2021).

This report offers a comprehensive survey of the LED packaging industry and market trends (worldwide + focus on China). It also details recent LED development (technology, industry, and market landscape); visible LED (COB, FC, CSP, filament, etc.); niche applications (automotive lighting); non-visible LED (UV LED); vertical integration (LED module); and new devices (MicroLED).


Having secured market positions in the backlit display market, Chinese LED package manufacturers are now skilled at imitating advanced foreign technology in order to increase their market share in the general lighting arena. China represents the main global manufacturing base for LED lighting products, with major OEMs/ODMs setting up factories in-country. This recent development surge in the LED lighting industry is driving the ongoing expansion of the local market and industry. In 2015, Chinese LED packagers, including MLS, Nationstar, and Honglitronic generated $2.9B in revenue, representing 19.3% of total LED market revenue.

This report represents a comprehensive overview of the Chinese LED packaging industry, with analysis of the global landscape (drivers, market shares...) and focus on the top- 30 players (revenue, capacity...).

Yole 2015 LED revenue by region


With the general lighting market triggered, LED packaging requires materials in agreement with application requirements. Regarding packaging substrates, the high power density of devices induces the use of ceramic substrates, a market that will grow from nearly $684M in 2015 to $813M in 2021. Encapsulant/optic materials will follow the same trend (from nearly $400M in 2015 to $526M in 2021), driven mostly by the increased use of silicone material offering better reliability/lifetime than traditional epoxy material. Regarding the phosphor market, with major YAG IP expiring from 2017, market will face strong commoditization and price pressure. Consequently, market will only grow from nearly $339M in 2015 to $346M in 2021.

This report provides a comprehensive overview of all LED packaging aspects. Each step of the packaging process flow (including equipment and materials used) is described, along with associated trends (performance, price, emerging technologies, etc.). Associated technological breakthroughs are also discussed, a summary of key players is provided, and much more!

Yole LED packaging material revenue v2

Objectives of the Report

This report serves to detail:

  • LED industry and market status
  • Process flows and technologies in LED packaging
  • Recent LED packaging trends
  • The importance of cost reduction in LED packaging
  • Who is doing what

This report also provides market metrics at the LED material level


Table of contents

Status of the LED industry                P35

> LED epitaxy capacity trends
  - GaN MOCVD capacity evolution per region (2010-2016)
  - Top 10 global LED chip manufacturers by capacity
  - Focus on China
  - GaN MOCVD capacity supply vs. demand trends
  - Capacity and wafer start geographic breakdown
> Packaged LED market and industry trends
  - Segmentation of packaged LEDs
  - Packaged LED revenue and volume forecast
  - 2015 and 2016 in a nutshell
  - LED market trends
  - LED packaging companies overview
> Leading LED packaging companies / regions
  - Top-10 players revenue analysis (2012 - 2015)
  - 2015 top-30 players
  - Market shares evolution per region
  - Trends
> Zoom on Chinese packaged LED market and industry
  - Chinese Packaged LED market and industry overview
  - Top-30 LED packaging companies analysis
  - Global trends
> Recent trends in the packaged LED industry
  - Application diversification - Automotive lighting
  - Vertical integration - Module and system level
  - Product diversification - UV LEDs and IR LEDs


LED package development            P78

> GaN-on-Si LEDs and GaN-on-GaN LEDs
  - GaN-on-Si LEDs
  - GaN-on-GaN LEDs
  - Trends
> Chip on Board (COB) LEDs
  - Positioning - package or module?
  - Drivers for integration
  - Technology trends
  - COB evolution
  - Industry
  - Manufacturing process
  - Market segmentation and uses
  - COB LED volume forecast (2012 - 2021)
> LED filaments
  - Substrate materials
  - Manufacturing process
  - Performance and cost
  - Industry trends
> Flip Chip LEDs
  - Benefits
  - Key players
  - Applications
  - Flip Chip LED volume forecast (2012 - 2021)
> Chip Scale Package (CSP) LEDs
  - Benefits
  - CSP vs. conventional package
  - Differences in CSP architectures / packages
  - CSP cost structure
  - Manufacturing process
  - Challenges
  - Industry
  - Applications
  - Market opportunities and challenges
  - CSP LED volume forecast (2012 - 2021)


Overview of LED packaging             P144

> The functions of LED packaging
> Key components of a packaged LED
> LED packaging typical process flow
> Trends in GaN LED chip designs
> Low and middle power LED packaging
> High power LED packaging
> LED package power vs. application
> Cost structure of packaged LED
> Supply chain (equipment and material)


Wafer bonding                    P158

> Process selection
> Technologies (status, trends and alternatives)
> Carrier substrate
> Equipment suppliers
> Miscellaneous - IP aspects


Substrate removal                P168

> Technologies
> Laser lift off
  - Overview
  - Equipment suppliers
  - IP and yield aspects
> Chemical lift off
> Other techniques
> The case of GaAs-Based LEDs


Die singulation                        P180

> Overview of die singulation techniques
> Diamond scribing
> UV laser scribing
> Scribing & breaking - Comparison of scribing techniques
> Blade dicing
> Laser dicing / Ablation
  - Advantages & drawbacks
  - Additional challenges
  - Focus on serial multibeam laser dicing
> Stealth dicing
> Plasma dicing
> Global benchmark of dicing technologies
> Comparison of die singulation technologies for LED
> Cost aspects
> Dicing (and backgrinding) tape
> Equipment suppliers
> Market share by technology


Packaging substrates            P205

> Low and middle power packaged LEDs
  - New materials (PCT, EMC, SMC and Ceramic)
> High power packaged LEDs
  - Thermal management of high power LEDs
  - Leadframe substrates
 - Ceramic substrates
  - Choosing the substrate type
> Chip On Board
  - Substrate comparison - MCPCB vs. Ceramic PCB
  - COB vs. package substrate
> Packaging substrate market
  - Substrates vs. circuit board material options
  - Choosing the right substrate
  - High power LED substrate - Market share by substrate type
  - High Power LED substrate volume and revenue forecast (2012 -2021)


ESD protection                        P245

> ESD / EOS issues of high power LEDs
> Where are ESD / TVS diodes used?
> Typical symptom of ESD / EOS damage
> Zener / avalanche diodes
  - Illustration
  - Trends
> Zener / avalanche diodes suppliers
> Zener / avalanche diodes volume and revenue forecast (2012 - 2021)


Die attach                        P257

> Overview of materials and techniques
> Resin / adhesives
  - Epoxy, acrylic and silicone
  - Silver-filled epoxy
  - Gold-filled epoxy
> HMP eutectic soldering
  - Au/Sn solder paste
  - Metallization techniques
  - Flux eutectic vs. direct eutectic
> Silver sintering
> Potential failure associated to die attach
> Comparison of die attach techniques
-  Gluing vs. soldering
  - Matching with packaging substrate
> Die attach material vs. LED package power (and applications)
> Die attach technique vs. LED package type
> Die attach material volume and revenue forecast (2012 - 2021)


Interconnections                        P286

> Wire bonding
  - Comparison of techniques
  - Challenges
  - Typical failure
  - Alternative - Ribbon bonding
> Flip Chip
  - Layout principles and technologies
  - Main techniques
  - Underfill
  - Trends


Encapsulation / Primary optics    P316

> Materials
  - Epoxy vs. silicone
  - Silicone
> Process
  - Overview of main techniques
  - Dispensing
  - Molding
  - Comparison (dispensing vs. molding)
> Interactions encapsulant / phosphors
  - Focus on phosphor sedimentation
  - Focus on chemical compatibility
> Failure mechanisms
> Material suppliers
  - Analysis
  - Emerging players & recent exits
> The case of packaged LED lens
  - Manufacturing process
  - Material
> Trends
  - Epoxy vs. silicone
  - Other developments
> Price trends
> Encapsulant volume and revenue forecast (2012 - 2021)
> Packaged LED lens material volume and revenue forecast (2012 -2021)


Phosphors                        P350

> The different ways to generate white light!
> Key requirements for LED downconverters
> LED downconverters for display or lighting applications
> Major white LED designs
  - Downconverter combinations
  - Trends
> Configurations and deposition methods
> On-Chip configuration
  - Comparison
  - The case of CSP
> Remote phosphor
> Material / compositions
  - Yellow phosphors
  - Green and red phosphors
  - Focus on garnets
  - Focus on silicates
  - Focus on nitrides and oxynitrides
  - Focus on Mn4+ Red phosphors (PFS / KFS)
  - Focus on “UV Chip + RGB Phosphor” solutions
  - Trends
  - Timeline
  - Application matrix
> Competitive landscape
> Price trends
> Quantum dots
  - Benefits & challenges
  - Display applications
  - Lighting applications
> Phosphor volume forecast (2012-2021) - Remote vs. On-Chip
> Phosphor revenue forecast (2012-2021)
  - Split by material


Wafer Level Packaging                    P394

> Manufacturing status of WLP
> True WLP
> Technology challenges
> Trends


Conclusion                        P402

Appendix                        P406

Companies cited

 ACC Silicone
 ADT Dicing
 Advanced Photoelectronic
 AM Technology
 American Bright
 American Opto Plus
 Asahi Glass
 ASM Pacific
 Cascade Microtech
 Century Epitech
 CS Bright
 Delphi Laser
 Dominant Semiconductor
 Dow Corning
 Edison Opto
 Epoxy Technology
 Evident Technologies
 Formosa Epitaxy
 Gia Tzoong
 Golden Valley
 Han’s Laser
 Holy Stone
 Hysol (Henkel)
 Indium Corporation
 Iwashita Engineering
 IPG Microsystems
 JT Corp
 KLA Tenkor
 Kulicke & Soffa
 Kwality Group
 Leatec Fine Ceramics
 LG Innotek
 Lightscape Materials

 Luminus Device
 Master Bond
 Microfab Technology
 Mitsubishi Chemical
 Mok San Electronics
 Nexxus Lighting
 Nordson Asymtek
 On Semiconductor
 Opto Systems
 Palomar Technologies
 Perkin Elmer
 Rudolph Technology
 Seoul Semiconductor
 Shandong Huaguang Opto
 Shenzen Mason Technologies
 Shenzen Mingxue
 Shenzen Refond
 Shibuya Kogyo
 Siliconwafer Precision Industries
 SUSS Microtech
 System Plus Consulting
 Tong Hsing
 Top Engineering
 Touch Microsystem Technology
 Toyoda Gosei
 Unity Opto
 Viking Tech
 Visera Tech
 Wenworth Laboratory
 Xiamen Hualian
 Zeon Chemical
 Zevac (…)


























  • LED market metrics (units and value): 2016 - 2021 forecast
  • Analysis of recent LED packaging developments: COB, LED filaments, FC LEDs, CSP (...)
  • Analysis of recent industrial trends: towards automotive lighting, LED module, UV LED (…)
  • Detailed technical analysis of each LED packaging process step
  • Supply chain analysis for each packaging process step
  • Chinese LED packaging industry analysis