MUNICH,GERMANY—OSRAM OptoSemiconductors will cease production of passive-matrix displays based on organicLEDs (OLEDs) by the end of the year. The company will now concentrate its OLED activities on developing market-ready OLED lighting products.As a result, the OLED display manufacturing line in Penang, Malaysia, will cease production at the end of the year.The 270 employees there will be transferred toother activities within OSRAM OptoSemiconductors, including a new LEDchip production facility in Penang.
Since the end of 2003, OSRAM OptoSemiconductors has been manufacturing and marketing passive matrix displays based on OLEDs under the brand name of Pictiva.Worldwide demand for the displays, which are used predominantly incommunication systems, industrial applications and mobile consumer electronics, has lagged far behind the company’s expectations.
“We have decided for strategic reasons to withdraw from the passive matrix display business,”said Rüdiger Müller,CEO of OSRAM Opto Semiconductors.“Obviously we shall honor our obligations toward our customers and employees and look for constructive solutions in close cooperation with these groups.”
OSRAM expects to launch its first market-ready lighting products in the next few years.A team of 50 people is currently working in the research center in Regensburg on developing products and production methods for OLED lighting.
“The experience we have gained in the display sector will speed up the process considerably,” Müller said.
Osram broke ground on its new LED factory in Penang in mid-July.The factoryis set to occupy 30,000 square meters and is expected to open in Spring 2009.In addition to Osram"s main plant in Regensburg, Germany, the new Penang facility will manufacture LED chips using gallium nitride. Additionally, the capacityof an existing LED assembly line in Penang, which began operation in 1972, will be increased by more than 50%.