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Bridgelux Sells LED Technology to Toshiba

May 24, 2013
Toshiba sees the addition of GaN-on-Si technology as a key to becoming more competitive in LED lighting and other markets as well.

Electronics giant Toshiba Corp., Tokyo, Japan, is pushing further into the LED lighting market. LED lighting manufacturer Bridgelux, Livermore, Calif., agreed to sell its gallium-nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) technology and related assets to Toshiba in a deal that also calls for the companies to strengthen and extend their strategic technology collaboration through an expanded licensing and manufacturing partnership.

In a partnership dating back to Jan. 2012, Bridgelux and Toshiba have collaborated on developing GaN-on-Si LED technologies. This led to an announcement by Toshiba that they had achieved world-class performance for 8-inch GaN-on-Si LED wafers and had begun mass production of white LEDs. These milestones were achieved using Bridgelux’s crystal growth and LED device technologies and Toshiba’s advanced silicon processes and manufacturing technologies. 

“Our agreement with Toshiba marks a tremendous milestone in our long history of working closely together, allowing Bridgelux to capitalize on our strong core LED technology platform, providing us with significant new capital for growth, and reducing our capital requirements,” Brad Bullington, CEO of Bridgelux, said in a release. “This agreement also allows us to focus on what we do best, and what we think the market needs most at this point in time: commercializing, ‘productizing’ and bringing to market LED-based solid-state lighting technologies alongside a proven global scale semiconductor manufacturing partner. We are one step closer to becoming the world’s leading solid-state lighting technology architecture company.”

The newly enhanced strategic relationship will provide for more collaboration on development of next-generation LED chips and platforms, as well as a manufacturing arrangement securing Bridgelux a source of supply for GaN-on-Si-based LED chips, the companies said. The GaN-on-Si assets included in the sale, and the related Bridgelux employees, will remain onsite at Bridgelux’s headquarters in Livermore after the transaction closes to assure continued technical and business collaboration between the companies. 

Toshiba sees the addition of GaN-on-Si technology as a key to becoming more competitive in LED lighting and other markets as well. “We are so excited with this deal that gaining GaN-on-silicon technology and related assets will contribute to drastically strengthening our LED business, and bring us a high performance and competitive product line-up. We fully expect our new Livermore team to play a leading role within Toshiba in the development and rapid market penetration of GaN-on-silicon LED chips.” said Makoto Hideshima, executive vice president of Semiconductor and Storage Products and corporate vice president of Toshiba. “Entering a new phase of our relationship with Bridgelux, we will be able to accelerate the scaled manufacturing of 8-inch GaN-on-silicon LED wafers, which will position both companies for strong growth in our respective LED businesses. The GaN-on-silicon technology that we acquire will also bring us a breakthrough for power devices development and production. ”