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Seoul Semi builds its future on IP

January 26, 2012 // Christoph Hammerschmidt

Seoul Semi builds its future on IP

LED manufacturer Seoul Semiconductor expects a very positive business performance in 2012. The company's optimisms is based on two factors: The high number of patents and the production ramp-up of its Acrich2 LED, its current top strategic product.

According to Seoul Semi's Managing Director Manuel Zarauza, the company currently possesses more than 10.000 Korean and international patents. This is one of the largest IP portfolios in the LED industry worldwide, Zarauza pointed out.

The company invests heavily into LED-related R&D and into the number of its patents. The goal is to reach a leading position in the LED market. Currently it is holds the fourth place in the global industry rankings, but the company does not content with this position — in an earlier interview with EE Times Europe LEDLighting, Zarauza already announced that Seoul Semi plans to advance further.

Seoul Semiconductor invests 10 to 20 percent of its annual sales into research and development. Currently, the company's patent portfolio covers materials, design, manufacturing and methods. In addition, Seoul holds exclusive and non-exclusive licenses with research institutions such as the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB).

The portfolio also includes patents for deep ultraviolet radiation sources. Seoul Semi believes that in the future the demand for this type of LED will grow very fast. One possible application segment could be future semiconductor manufacturing: With shrinking geometries, the chip industry will soon hit the limitations of visible light in its lithography processes. It is common sense that then deep ultraviolet will take the role of lithography light sources. Currently, sources for deep UV radiation are extremely expensive.

For the near future, the Acrich2 production is expected to increase the proceeds. With its broad patent portfolio, the company has reached technological independence to a large extend, Zarauza said.

As recently as December 2011, Seoul Semi has signed a cross licensing agreement with Philips.

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