China and Its LED Industry

China's LED industry

LED or Light-Emitting Diode is a two-lead semiconductor light source. Recent developments in LED allow it to be used for many purposes. Using LED has shown great advantages over using most incandescent light sources. Lower energy consumption and longer lifetime of the product are some these advantages. Over the years, China has showed a significant advancement in the technology and production of LED which proved similar to those in high tech industries.

As of 2015, China has the largest LED industry in the world with about four thousand (4000) companies manufacturing LED in the country. Thirty percent of the global LED market is comprised of the Chinese LED market, which makes China ahead of South Korea, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and the United States of America. According to reports from professionals, there will be a compound annual growth rate of over forty percent for the Chinese LED market.

One of the driving forces behind the booming industry in the country is the government itself. To promote its LED industry, the Chinese government offers subsidies, tax benefits, and lower land cost for LED facilities – aiming to convert thirty percent (30%) of the domestic lighting market to LED. To emphasize and enhance the volume of the usage of energy efficient LED lighting, the government of China started phasing out the usage of incandescent light bulbs, following the footsteps of USA and Japan. LEDs are usually utilized in their street lightings, big hotels, shopping malls, and office buildings. The state-run National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) predicted that LED lighting will be worth almost thirty billion in dollars to the country’s economy. By this time, the commission believes, at least twenty percent of the lighting market will be taken by LED lights.

Despite the initial success of the LED industry in the country, recent events beg the question: What happens now?

There have been problems that LED manufacturers had to face in the most recent times. Price wars have been rampant among companies that sell LED. Small-scale manufacturers have been hit the hardest by these price wars, almost always having to resort to foreclosure and filing for bankruptcy. Several analysts have confirmed that the Chinese LED industry is in deep waters and that several manufacturers will not survive in the coming years. One factor for the downfall of the industry is the quality VS quantity aspect of the production of LED. Some expert say that quality was sacrificed for rapid mass production. A testament to this is the recall of not just products under the local brand but those from major brands as well. Many large LED manufacturers faced product recall this year, including IKEA and Phillips, which had to recall their products due to fire hazards. Analysts predict that future trends in the industry will swing towards laser based lighting especially in holiday laser lights.

Although Chinese LED lights’ domestic demand increases by the minute, many developed countries like the United States of America –  still doubt China-manufactured LED lights – and even believe that Chinese products are not good quality products. Analysts claim that Chinese manufacturers still utilize outdated machinery and equipment – ultimately resulting to low quality LED products. Despite its questionable quality, the Chinese LED industry remains competitive in the global market.

Silicon Based Microprocessors

how silicon is made

 

Transistors, light emitting diodes, and microchips are examples of devices that are fashioned from semiconductor materials. The main raw material used in their manufacture is silicon, which is generally converted into single-crystal ingots that are more commonly referred to as boules. These boules are further converted into silicon wafers, which essentially marks the start of the integrated circuit (chip) manufacturing process. Other semiconductor raw materials include silicon carbide, gallium arsenide, germanium etc. Here, we take a closer look at these raw materials as follows:

Silicon

Making up over 25% of the earth’s crust in terms of weight, silicon is the second most abundant element on earth. And while it may not be found as a free element in nature, it occurs as silicates and oxide including quartz, opal, flint, jasper, citrine, amethyst, agate, and sand. Alternatively, silicon metal is derived from the reactions between carbon materials like wood chips, coal, and coke and silicon dioxide.

As far as the major producers of silicon for wafers go, there are many suppliers not only in the U.S., but around the world as well, primarily in Oregon, California, Florida, China, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. China is acknowledged as being the largest producer of silicon followed closely by the United States.

Gallium Arsenide

This is a compound of two elements i.e. gallium and arsenic, and which is used mainly in high-speed devices. In addition, it costs slightly more than silicon and is also more difficult to form into large-diameter ingots, which in turn limits wafer diameter sizes, consequently affecting mass production. Major producers of gallium arsenide worldwide include the Ukraine, Japan, Germany, and China.

Germanium

Similar in appearance to silicon, Germanium does, however, not exist as a free element in nature owing to its reactivity factor. It is mined from sphalerite zinc ores that are found in the earth’s crust and can also be extracted from copper ores and fly ash coal. Less useful than silicon due to its cost and thermal sensitivity, it is, nonetheless, still alloyed in conjunction with silicon for use in high speed devices. China leads the way in germanium production with other major producers being Belgium, Russia, Canada, and the U.S. (where IBM is a major producer of these devices).

Others

Silicon carbide continues to be tested for use in semiconductor devices that might withstand high levels of ionizing radiation and high operating temperatures; and is also used as a raw material for blue LEDs. Further, several indium compounds such as indium arsenide, indium antimonite and indium phosphide etc. are being used in LEDs and solid-state laser diodes. Lastly, selenium sulfide is currently being studied for use in the manufacture of photo-voltaic photo cells. All of these compounds are produced mainly in Europe, China, Asia-Pacific, and the U.S.

Semiconductors are considered the foundation of most electronic devices since they allow the building of switches and gates in a circuit. It is the reason why most microchips are currently made from silicon due to its highly effective semi-conducting properties and the ease with which it is extracted from sand. However, according to Chris Lange of www.daqifi.com, materials such as carbon grapheme could represent the future of consumer electronics as research continues to show that they are able to outperform silicon.

Benefits of Doing Business in the European Union (EU)

Being the world’s largest single market, EU has a host of opportunities for rampant business growth. Doing business in EU ensures the ultimate success with the right business approach. External investments and foreign trades in EU are the keys elements for economic growth. There is no doubt about the fact, that the market offered by EU is highly competitive but, with a smart strategy and a rational approach, you can crack this hardest nut with your left hand. Having earned a good reputation in EU gives you an additional benefit because of it being the largest trading partner of U.S. Being the largest trading bloc in the world EU has everything to offer to boost businesses and trades.

Some major advantages of doing business in the EU are given as under:

  • The extent of competition among service providers is high because of the presence of myriads of competitors in the market.
  • Trade barriers are minimal.
  • Business cost reduces significantly.
  • Business efficiency is greatest in the market as largest as EU.
  • Eradication of anti-competitive practices e.g. cartels and monopolies.
  • Easier trade across borders.
  • Paperwork is greatly reduced because of the reforms EU has taken.
  • Homogenous safety and technical standards.
  • Doing business in EU gives you an extra edge for it is the largest trading partner of U.S.
  • Ease of common currency – Euro.
  • Easy mobility for citizens of member states to promote their businesses.
  • EU company law ensures the easiest funding access.
  • Effective and unambiguous legislation.
  • Tax-free trade for the Member States.
  • EU provides protection to employees, shareholders, and creditors.
  • Administrative burden, on enterprises, is reduced up to a great extent.
  • A wide array of goods and commodities are available for consumers to choose from.
  • Commodities and products are cheaper because of the pressure mounted by competitors.
  • Cross-Border Trade opens up free opportunities, which in return, alleviates poverty.
  • Peace maintenance and promotion among the Member States.
  • Sense of unity is prevailed all across the continent because of common economic culture and multi-national business enterprises.

The benefits of cross-border trade are immense and cannot be compared with local trade. Had it not been the single currency unit being valid all across the Member States, a lot of money would have gone into Money Exchange Operations, which is saved just because of the common currency i.e. Euro.

For more info check out the Euro Trade Union here.