All the major LED suppliers-CREE, RBCN and LEDS are facing extreme competitive pricing and the price for the main ingredient in Daktronics displays--LEDS--is dropping. SemiLEDS reported today--"The quarter did not meet our expectations ... due to the aggressive, competitive pricing environment," Chief Executive Trung Doan said in a statement.
Sorry--no URL. TSMC preps solar, LED lines Mark LaPedus 2/15/2011 2:05 PM EST SAN JOSE, Calif. - Preparing for the launch of its solar and LED products, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) is mulling plans to form subsidiaries in the arena.
TSMC has also approved an additional capital injection of $5 million into TSMC Solar North America. The board also approved capital appropriations of $2.9 billion for capacity expansion and fab construction.
“As part of TSMC’s strategic planning, the board of directors is also considering the formation of two wholly-owned subsidiaries for solar and LED businesses,” said Lora Ho, senior vice president and chief financial officer for TSMC, in a statement.
As reported, TSMC took separate steps into the solar and LED fronts in 2009. TSMC will sell these products under its own brand name-which is a big departure from its foundry strategy.
TSMC has made strategic investments and formed partnerships with thin-film solar vendor Stion Corp. and crystalline silicon PV manufacturer Motech Industries.
Beginning in 2011, TSMC Solar will sell crystalline silicon PV modules in Germany and other key European markets. These modules will be designed and manufactured in Germany for TSMC Solar by Centrosolar Group AG.
''TSMC Solar will serve the global solar market with CIGS thin-film modules manufactured in its own facilities, with production capacity reaching 1 GW (gigawatts) in the next 3-5 years. Construction began on the first production facility on September 16, 2010 in Taichung, Taiwan as the TSMC Solar Thin-Film R&D Center and fab broke ground,'' according to TSMC.
''TSMC plans to invest $258 million for the first phase of the facility which is scheduled to enter commercial production in Q1 2012 and reach volume production of 200MW (megawatts) per year in thin-film photovoltaic modules by the end of 2012. A second phase is planned for the 5.2 hectare site, which will expand production to over 700MW,'' according to the firm.
On the LED side, ''TSMC will serve its global customers with LEDs produced in its own fab. TSMC's LED fab is located in the Hsinchu Science Park, Taiwan. The company has invested $80 million to complete the facility's first phase and moved in the first equipment in during September 2010. Commercial production is expected to commence in the second half of 2011,'' according to TSMC.
Thank you for your observation which got me looking at the LCD suppliers, most of whom I'd never noticed before.
Yet I don't take your conclusion as gospel, since I don't really know how much of DAKT's costs are in LED's. I thought that the industry was moving over to LCD's as a more efficient alternative and that there were some other technologies coming along as well like MEM's. At the annual meeting I attended, I was quite surprised by the amount of heat which was being generated by the boards on display and by the size of the electrical feeds to those boards.
If I ever get another look at the factory, I would like to concentrate on the manufacturing process. I was rather amazed at how rudimentary the mfg actually was, though impressed with how sophisticated the computer controls were. I suppose it is possible that DAKT could outsource the actual boards to a more competitive mfr while retaining control of the sales and control systems. Or move mfg to Asia like so many other companies have done.
I was also surprised to see how many companies were manufacturing LED's in the US. Good! But the one in Boise seems to have been brought by Simplot with very interesting ownership. Simplot, GE, and no financial statements on Yahoo? All managers seem to have Chinese sounding names.
All I'm doing is asking more questions, but as you may know, I'm not terribly impressed with the sophistication of DAKT's management and wonder how competitive they will be in the long run. I've heard so many contractors complain that their competitors (sometimes me) bought that job that I regard the expression as sour grapes from people trying to justify their own beliefs. The story of Mitsubishi's win of a big Texas stadium sounded much like those sour grapes to me. I don't know how competitive they are but suspect they are pretty tough.