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LED Packaging

This publication has been discontinued on June 21, 2014.


Packaging cost reduction is driving new technology and design adoption, and fuelling a booming equipment and material market


Depending on the device type, packaging can represent 40% to 60% of LED total cost. As such, packaging represents the single-largest opportunity for cost reduction, which is required in order for the industry to access the "Holy Grail" that is General Lighting. However, if you're expecting this cost reduction to come from standardization, you can abandon all hope. The creativity of LED engineers and specificities of each application have led to an infinite number of package type and formats: Single or multiple chips, low and middle-power Plastic Leaded Chip Carrier (PLCC), ceramic-based high-power LED, small and large arrays, Chip On Board (COB), etc. This profusion of styles is inhibiting LED manufacturing cost reduction by multiplying the Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), thus preventing standardization of the manufacturing process and the associated economies of scale.

In this context, LED manufacturers are reacting by developing new manufacturing philosophies/ concepts, such as:

  • Design for manufacturing", which consists of trying to simplify and standardize elements whenever possible, and push differentiation as far downstream as possible in the manufacturing process.
  • Design for cost", which consists of favoring cost of ownership or cost per lumen over end performance.

Technological developments are also impacted by the quest for cost reduction, and LED manufacturers are now searching for equipment and/or materials with the right mix between cost and performance. As a matter of fact, equipment and materials suppliers are proposing more and more equipment and materials that fit these requirements, i.e. laser-based dicer, low-cost ceramic package substrate, etc.

In the end, LEDs are going mainstream but are still not a mature commodity! This is good news for the entire industry, since design and materials innovation still provides opportunity for differentiation. All of this benefits the consumer, who receives budget-friendly, environmentally friendly and increasingly credible LED-based alternatives for replacing traditional light sources.

This report represents a comprehensive overview of all technological aspects of LED packaging. It describes each step of the packaging process flow, discusses the associated technological breakthroughs, provides a summary of key players, and much more!


The LED packaging materials market will enjoy a 20% CAGR during the period 2012 - 2017, driven primarily by package substrate and phosphors

The package substrate market will attain a CAGR of 20% over the aforementioned period, growing to nearly $900M by 2017. Concerning LED phosphors - despite strong price pressure, the associated market will also enjoy double-digit growth, with a CAGR of 20% during the period 2012 - 2017.


In the face of intensifying competition, players are trying to differentiate themselves by proposing an increasing variety of technology options for LED packaging. Substrate material options as well as assembly and interconnection techniques abound as many companies work around the limiting patents of the established players. New players from the general semiconductor markets are proposing new solutions based on their respective capabilities. Similar to IC packaging, new technologies for LED packaging mimic the existing ones, without completely phasing them out -- and there is still a lot of room for innovation, which could lead to more added-value. For such products, however, it remains paramount that the solution offers LED manufacturers an overall reduction in cost of ownership ($/lumen).

At the LED packaging equipment level, growth will return for the next three years

The LED packaging equipment market, which stagnated in 2012 due to industry oversupply, is growing again and will peak at nearly $650M by 2016.


LED packagers are still using mostly retrofitted equipment from the IC industry and relying on existing technology solutions and materials to improve LED cost of ownership and performance. While this has allowed LED manufacturers to benefit from decades of R&D, and investments in the IC industry, it also limits the industry to a space defined by existing technology platforms which are not optimized to the specific needs of LEDs. However, the industry has gained enough momentum in 2011/2012 to entice equipment and material providers into developing dedicated solutions for LED manufacturing.

Many dedicated solutions emerging from both existing and new players will allow significant reduction in LED manufacturing cost through improved yields, throughputs and material efficiency.

This report presents all materials and equipment used in LED packaging. It describes market size and volume, trends per process step performance, price, emerging technologies...), key suppliers, and much more!


The objectives of the report are the following:

  • To better understand process flow and technological trends in LED packaging
  • To better understand the importance of cost reduction in LED packaging
  • To better understand who is doing what
  • To provide market metrics both at LED and material/equipment levels


3M, A-Bright, ACC Silicon, Accretech, ADT Dicing, Advanced Photoelectronic, ALSI, AM Technology, Amceram, American bright, American Opto Plus, AOT, Apeax, APT, Asahi Glass, ASM Pacific, Assymtec, Autec, Avago, Axxon, Bayer, Bergquist, Brightled, Brightview, BYD, Cascade Microtech, Century Epitech, Ceramtec, CETC, Chroma, Citizen, CMO, Cofan PCB, Cree, CS Bright, Curamik, Daitron, Datacon, Delphi Laser, Denka, Dian, Disco, Dominant Semiconductor, Doosan, Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, Dowa, Dupont, Dynatex, Edison Opto, Photon Star, Epistar, Epitex, Epoxy Technology, epworks, ESEC, ESI, Essemtec, Everlight, EV-Group, Evident Technologies, Excellence, Fangda, Fittech, Formosa Epitaxy, Friatec, GE, Gia Tzoong, Golden Valley, Han's Laser, Harvatek, Hauman, Heesung, Heptagon, Hilight, Holy Stone, Huixin, huiyuan, Hybond, Hysol (Henkel), Illumitex, Indium Corporation, Intematix, Ipidia, Ismeca, ITRI, Itswell, Iwashita Engineering, IPG Microsystems, JT Corp, KCC, Kingbright, KLA Tenkor, Kodenshi, Kulicke & Soffa, Kwality Group, Kyocera, Laurier, Leatec Fine Ceramics, Ledengin, Ledtech, Lextar, LG Innotek, Lighting, Lightscape Materials, Ligitek, Lite-on, Loomis, Lord, Lumens, Lumex, Lumileds, lumimicro, Luminus Device, Lumitek, Lustrous, Luxpia, LWB, Master Bond, MDI, Microfab Technology, Micron, Mitsubishi Chemical, Mok san electronics, Momentive, MPI, Murata, Nanoco, Nanometric, Nanosys, Natel, Nationstar, Neo-Neon, Neopac, Nexxus Lighting, Nichia, Nihon Garter, NIMS, Ninex, NN Crystal, Nordson Asymtek, Nusil, NXP, Oasis, Omnivision, On Chip, On Semiconductor, Optek, Optest, Opto Systems, Optotech, Osram, Palomar Technologies, Panasonic, Perkin Elmer, Phosphortech, Planoptik, Powerlightec, QD Vision, QMC...

Table of Contents


Executive Summary

LED Market Overview

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
    • Segmentation of High-Brightness LEDs
    • Example of Low and Middle-Power LED Packages
    • Example of High-Power LED Packages
    • Qualified vs. Non-Qualified LED
  • LED Industry History
  • Packaged LED Revenue Forecast by Application
  • Packaged LED Volume Forecast by Application
  • Packaged LED Die Surface Forecast by Application
  • Packaged LED Volume Forecast by Type
  • LED Penetration Rates Comparison 2012 vs. 2020
  • Packaged LED Price Trends
  • GaN Reactor Capacity vs. Demand
  • General Lighting Lumen Consumption Forecast

LED Packaging Overview

  • The Functions of LED Packaging
  • Main Integration Strategies
  • Key Components of a Packaged LED
  • LED Packaging: Typical Process Flow
  • GaN LED Chip Design
    • Simple MESA
    • Flip Chip (FC)
    • Vertical Thin Film (VTF)
    • Thin Film Flip Chip (TFFC)
    • Vertical Thin Film with Vias (VTFV)
  • Low & Middle-Power LED Packaging
  • High-Power LED Packaging
    • Packaging Process Overview
    • Examples
  • Packaged LED Cost Structure
  • HB LED Packaging Companies
  • Leading LED Packaging Companies - 2011 Revenue Ranking
  • Supply Chain

Wafer Bonding

  • Position in the Process
  • Executive Summary
  • Permanent Bonding
    • Introduction
    • Process Selection
    • Carrier Substrate
    • Equipment
  • Alternatives to Wafer Bonding
  • Equipment Volumes and Revenues

Wafer Bonding

  • Position in the Process
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
    • Overview
    • Substrate Removal Technologies
  • Laser Lift Off
    • Overview
    • Specificities
    • Equipment
    • IP Environment
    • Potential Effect on Reverse Leakage Current
    • Yield Aspects
  • Chemical Lift Off
  • New Techniques in Development
    • ASTRI - Chemical Mechanical Planarization
    • Yale University - Electrochemical Etching
    • NTT - Mechanical Transfer

Focus on GaAs-Based LEDs

LLO Equipment Volumes and Revenues

Die Singulation

  • Position in the Process
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Preliminary Definitions
  • Overview of Die Singulation Techniques
  • Blade Dicing
    • Overview
    • Advantages & Drawbacks
  • Laser Dicing
  • Overview
  • Advantages & Drawbacks
  • Additional Challenges
  • Diamond Scribing
  • UV Laser Scribing
    • Overview
    • Equipment
    • Comparison of Scribing Techniques for Sapphire
    • Breaking Systems
  • Comparison of Die Singulation Techniques
  • Emerging Technologies
    • Stealth Dicing
    • Serial Multibeam Laser Dicing
    • Parallel Multibeam Laser Scribing
    • Thermal Laser Separation
    • Short Pulse Fiber Lasers Dicing
  • Alternative Techniques
    • Chemical Etching
    • Plasma Dicing
  • Novel Chip Geometries
  • LED Die Separation - Main Players
  • Die Singulation Equipment Market
    • Market Share by Technology
    • Equipment ASP
  • Equipment Volumes and Revenues

Thermal Management - Packaging Substrates (Including COB)

  • Position in the Process
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Low and Middle-Power Packaged LEDs
    • Overview
    • Compression Process for Plastic Packages on Leadframes (1/2)
    • Substrate for Middle-Power LEDs
  • High-Power Packaged LEDs
  • Thermal Management of High-Power LEDs
    • Overview
    • Material Properties
    • Main Design Options
    • Overview of Substrates Material Options
  • Leadframe/Heat Slug Substrates
    • Overview
    • Structures
    • Examples
    • Manufacturing Process
    • Volumes
    • Conclusions
  • Ceramic Substrates
    • Overview
    • Description
    • Typical Manufacturing Process
    • Segmentation
    • Structures
    • Examples
    • Focus on Direct Plated Copper (DPC)
    • Focus on Low Temperature Co-Fired Ceramic (LTCC)
    • Al2O3 vs. AlN
    • Summary
    • Main Players
  • Silicon Substrates
    • Overview
    • Examples
  • Glass Ceramic Substrates
  • Diamond Substrates
  • Choosing the Substrate Type
  • Chip On Board
    • Introduction
    • Benefits
    • SMT Packages vs. Chip On Board
    • Connection to the Fixture
    • Examples
    • Metal Core PCB
    • Challenges & Alternatives
    • Examples
    • New Trend
    • Substrates vs. Circuit Board Material Options
    • AL2O3 vs. AlN vs. MCPCB
    • COB vs. Package Substrate
  • Global Analysis
  • Substrates vs. Circuit Board Material Options
  • Choosing the Substrate Type
    • Overview
    • Trends
  • High-Power LED Substrate
    • Market Penetration by Substrate Type
    • Volumes by Substrate Type
    • Average Selling Price
    • Revenue by Substrate Type

Thermal Management - Module Substrates (Including COH)

  • PCB For LED Modules
  • PCB for LED Lighting Applications
  • Overview of Key PCB Properties
  • Typical PCB Usage vs. LED Power
  • Glass Epoxy PCB
    • Overview
    • Focus on Enhanced Glass Epoxy PCB
  • Metal Core PCB
    • Overview
    • Importance of the Prepreg
  • Enhanced Metal Core PCB
    • Focus on Vertical Metal Post MCPCB
    • Focus on Diamond-Like Carbon MCPCB
  • Anodized Aluminum Substrate
  • Ceramic PCB
  • Thick film paste
  • Chip On Heat Sink
    • Overview
    • Example
    • Ceramic Based Heatsink

ESD Protection

  • Position in the Process
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction to the ESD/EOS Issues of High-Power LEDs
  • Where are ESD/TVS Diodes Used?
    • Overview
    • Examples
  • Adoption Rate of ESD Protection
  • Zener and Avalanche Diodes
    • Overview
    • Examples
  • ESD Protection with Silicon Submounts
    • Overview
    • Examples
  • Packaged LED with Zener Diode on Substrate
  • ESD Protection into Ceramic Substrate
  • ESD Diodes and Submounts Manufacturers
  • ESD Protection Diodes Volumes
  • High-Power LED Package ESD Protection
  • Revenue by Diode Integration Scheme
  • Silicon Substrates Volumes

Die Attach / Die Bonding

  • Position in the Process
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Overview of Materials and Techniques
  • Resin/Adhesives Die Attach
    • Epoxy and Acrylic
    • Silver-Filled Epoxy
    • Al2O3 Filler
  • Backside Metallization for Vertical LED Structure
  • HMP Eutectic Die Attach
    • Au/Sn Solder Paste
    • Metallization Techniques
  • No Epoxy Nor Solder Paste
  • Emerging Technique
    • Ag Sintering
    • Nanoporous Sponge
  • Comparison of Attach Techniques - Gluing vs. Soldering
  • Potential Failure Associated with Die Attach
  • Summary table


  • Position in the Process
  • Executive Summary
  • Overview
  • Wire Bonding
    • Overview
    • Comparison of Techniques
    • Challenges
    • Materials
    • Typical Failure
  • Ribbon Bonding
  • Flip Chip
    • Overview
    • Layout Principles and Technologies
    • Example - Lumileds Luxeon Rebel
    • Alternatives Techniques
    • High-Power Companies Using/Designing Flip Chip LEDs
  • Current Distribution - Vias
  • Interconnection Volumes
  • Flip Chip Bonding Equipment Volume and Revenue
  • Die Placement Equipment Overview
  • Die Placement Equipment Volume

Encapsulation and Optics

  • Position in the Process
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Primary Optics vs. Secondary Optics
  • Overview
  • The Case of Low-Power LEDs
  • Materials
    • Overview
    • Epoxy vs. Silicone
  • Focus on Silicone
    • Overview
    • The Different Type of Silicone for Encapsulation
    • Intrinsic Material Challenges
    • Gas Permeability Aspects
  • Deposition Process
    • Overview
    • Focus on Printing/Screen Printing
    • Focus on Molding
  • Micro Optics
  • Gradient Index Lens Wafers
  • Volume Breakdown by Function
  • Revenue Breakdown by Function
  • Volume Breakdown by Package Type


  • Position in the Process
  • Executive Summary
  • Phosphor Configurations and Deposition Methods
  • How to Make White Light?
  • Key Requirements
  • The Different Types of PC-LED
  • Deposition Methods
    • Dispersion
    • Needle vs. Jet Dispensing
    • Conformal Coating
  • Preformed Phosphors
  • Illustrations
  • LED Phosphor IP
  • The Most Standard Phosphor Compositions
  • Less Common and Emerging Compositions
  • Phosphor Compositions - Summary
  • Phosphor Materials Timeline
  • LED Phosphors ASP
  • Market Revenue
  • Quantum Dots
    • Overview & Definition
    • Display Applications
    • Lighting Applications
    • Conclusions

Wafer Level Packaging

  • Executive Summary
  • Overview
  • WLP Manufacturing Status
  • Wafer Level Phosphor Coating
    • Overview
    • Package Level vs. Wafer Level
    • Emerging Trends - Spraying & Printing
  • Wafer Level Encapsulation/Optics
    • Lens Molding
    • Emerging Trends - Moldless Encapsulation
  • Silicon Substrate and WLP
    • Overview
    • Embedded Zener Diodes
    • Through Silicon Vias
    • Main Players by Wafer Size (R&D or Production)
    • Cost Aspects
    • High-Power LED and Equipment Companies with Wafer Level Packaging Production or R&D Projects
    • Focus on Hymite (DK)
    • Focus on EPWorks (KR)
    • Focus on Touch Micro System Technology (TW)
    • Focus on VisEra (TW)
    • Focus on SibDi (TW)
    • Focus on LG Innotek (KR)
    • Non Silicon-Based WLP Technologies
  • Wafer Level Bumping
  • Technology Challenges
  • Long-Term Vision for WLP
    • Introduction
    • Wafer to Wafer Packaging
    • 3D interposer to Combine MOSFET and ASIC LED Driver
    • Example of Initial Achievements
    • 3D Packaging Roadmap

Testing and Binning

  • Position in the Process
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Overview of LED Testing and Sorting/Binning
  • Example of Testing Workflow in LED Manufacturing
  • Measurement Challenges
  • Wafer Level And Die Testing
    • Optical Inspection and Probing
    • Visual Inspection and Probing
  • Sorting & Binning
  • Package Testing and Sorting
  • Equipment, Capex and Throughput
  • Optical and Visual Inspection
  • Wafer, Die Testers and Sorters
  • Packaged LED Testers, Sorters and Taping
  • Software
  • Main Players
  • Testing Equipment Volumes
  • Testing Equipment Revenue

General Conclusion

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