In an announcement about a deal to sell its image sensor unit to Sony, Toshiba also said it was getting out of the business manufacturing and selling white LEDs. The move is part of a larger restructuring in its discrete semiconductor business and its systems LSI business.
“The company will discontinue all operations related to the white LED business by the end of 2015, in order to improve profitability and strengthen market competitiveness. This move will position the power semiconductor, optical devices, and small-signal devices businesses, as the main focus in the Discrete business. All three are business areas where the company anticipates market expansion, and this concentration will support the early achievement of a surplus in the overall Discrete semiconductor business,” the company said in a translated press release posted on its website.
Toshiba said it expects the restructuring and divestment of white LEDs to cost about 20 billion yen, excluding personnel costs related to an early-retirement incentive program announced in parallel with the Sony sale and white LED divestment.
Toshiba began in late 2012 producing white LED packages, usng GaN chips on 200mm silicon wafers on a new line at its Kaga Toshiba Electronics discrete products manufacturing facility in northern Japan, with production techniques it developed with Bridgelux. It has been an OEM supplier for many manufacturers of general purpose and industrial LED lighting products.