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Nichia Light Emitting Diode (LED)

Outline

Overview
Nichia is the international forerunner in the dual fields of the technological development and the manufacturing of light emitting diodes (LEDs). Nichia is dedicated to research and development in LED technology, and continues to enhance its line-up of state-of-the-art products.

Light Emitting Diode (LED)
Nichia LEDs are super-bright and very high quality, and set the global benchmark for LEDs. Particularly well known is Nichia’s blue LED. Before Nichia’s breakthrough, developing a blue LED had long represented a steep technological challenge. Thanks to extensive research, however, Nichia discovered how to use compounds of gallium nitride (GaN) and potassium to manufacture super-high brightness blue LEDs. The company also developed ways of making them commercially viable, too.

Elsewhere, Nichia is also involved in the manufacturing and sales of white LEDs, for which there is strong demand. LEDs generally emit light only in a very narrow wavelength range, making it impossible to produce true white light using a single LED. There are several methods, however, including mixing together monochromatic light from the three primary colors, that are currently considered viable means for achieving practical white light. Since white LEDs are thought to have considerable potential for applications in lamps and lights, expectations for Nichia’s contributions to this field continue to increase.

Nichia also manufactures and sells a diverse range of LEDs in various colors and sizes.

Practical Application of LEDs
LEDs boast a number of advantages, such as a long lifetime and significantly lower energy consumption than other light sources. These benefits have led to their widespread use and it is believed there is still much scope for further application. At present, however, the practical application of LEDs in high power fields remains hindered by certain problems, such as excess heat generation. In low power fields, however, the application of LEDs is widespread; they can be found in lighting apparatus, bicycle lights, torches, and displays.

They are also being used increasingly in new fields of application. One of the biggest disadvantages of liquid crystal displays, for example, is the lack of contrast. Using LEDs, however, can resolve this issue, and this has led to their increasing applications in computers and televisions.

In addition, LEDs are beginning to be used in automobiles. For example, Nichia worked with Koito Manufacturing on a joint research project to develop an LED headlamp that was subsequently adopted by Toyota Motors (in 2007). Volume manufacturing has enabled the cost of production to be lowered, meaning that LEDs are being used increasingly frequently in automobiles.

Progress towards the wider and more efficient application of the advantages offered by LEDs continues in almost all fields. LEDs are likely to become an increasingly significant industrial sector in the future. The innovation shown thus far by Nichia will doubtless help cement the company’s position as industry leader in state-of-the-art LED technology and manufacturing.


Jul 14, 2011

About the author
Eriko Kinashi is a reporter for Japanest NIPPON