Technology

Technology

Bridgelux is a leading innovator in Solid State Lighting with a clear focus on general illumination. Our philosophy of innovation has led to multiple platform technologies that deliver class leading performance across the lighting value chain with a cost structure built to enable the LED lighting revolution. At the chip level, Bridgelux was the first to develop a mass production process for growing LED chips on silicon substrates, enabling substantial cost down at the chip, package and lighting system level. At the package level, Bridgelux was first to develop the Chip-on-Board (CoB) architecture, which has become an industry standard for high quality directional lighting applications, and is projected to grow at a faster rate than other LED packages well into the future. With our recently launched Vero platform, Bridgelux has built upon 5 years of CoB packaging research and development to disrupt the LED package space once again. Vero combines industry leading lumen per watt and lumen per dollar performance with revolutionary new integration and connectivity solutions to enable our customers in delivering the lowest cost, most energy efficient lighting products to the market. Looking to the future, Bridgelux continues to invest heavily in core technology to help lighting OEMs bring increasingly sophisticated and affordable lighting products to market.  From development of exciting new white points and ideal gamut solutions, fully utilizing the inherent capability to control digital light, or respectfully bending the properties of physics to deliver even higher lumen per dollar performance, Bridgelux will continue to lead the industry in LED package technology into the future.

Advanced LED Chip Design

Bridgelux has been designing its own state-of-the-art, high power LED chips since early 2004. Bridgelux’s unique lateral chip structure offers high light-extraction efficiency, low thermal resistance, and excellent reliability. Furthermore, our unique chip structure along with many years of refining our manufacturing processes, enables Bridgelux to produce high performance and highly price competitive chips.  Bridgelux’s consistent investment in chip design technology has enabled us to introduce new LED chips approximately every six months for over 5 years, with performance improvements in the range of 15 to 20 percent per introduction. Bridgelux has designed eleven generations of LED chips spanning both GaN-on-Sapphire and GaN-on-Si technology platforms.

The Next Logical Step: The LED Array

In 2008, Bridgelux radically changed the way light could be delivered from an LED source. No longer did OEMs have to rely on the rudimentary discrete package approach of cobbling together tens or even hundreds of single chip emitters into a lighting fixture. With the LED Array, it would now be possible to recreate a traditional incandescent or halogen point source while harnessing all of the benefits and promise of LED technology. These new packages were easy to use, no longer requiring a separate MCPCB, and were developed with the end application in mind. For lighting OEMs with a keen eye to quality of light and an appreciation for the manufacturability and reliability of a single light source, a new solution was born.

Just like the original family of LED Arrays, the Vero family of Bridgelux LED Arrays has been developed with end applications in mind. Instead of pushing a one size fits all component on the market, Bridgelux has tailored the Vero portfolio to meet the specifications and integration requirements of both luminaire and lamp solutions across the industry.

Inherent in each product in the Vero line is a dedication to performance, quality and cost that sets it apart from the competition.  With a typical efficacy of 120 lm per watt and max drive current of 2X, Vero is a leader in the now crowded CoB space in both energy efficiency and price performance. These products are also tested to the strict LM-80 reliability standard at elevated drive currents and temperatures, ensuring our customers’ products comply with critical regulations and worldwide standards.  Further, the Vero line offers a range of white points, including our ultra-high CRI Décor Series, which add a new dimension of stunning color quality and authenticity.

All of these features and benefits are delivered on a platform specially optimized to take cost out of our customer’s supply chain.  With unique traceability and mounting features, and a revolutionary connector to eliminate the need for soldering, Vero is designed to increase manufacturing throughput and reduce yield loss, while driving simplicity into OEMs supply chain.

The GaN-on-Silicon LED Chip Revolution

Bridgelux pioneered the development of LED chip technology using GaN-on-Silicon, replacing traditional substrates such as GaN-on-Sapphire.

Leveraging Bridgelux’s key breakthrough in both formulation and manufacturing of LED chips, Bridgelux and Toshiba entered into a Joint Development and Collaboration Agreement for the development of GaN-Si technologies in January 2012. The success of that relationship was demonstrated with Toshiba’s announcement in October 2012 of the achievement of world-class performance of GaN-on-Silicon LED wafers, and mass production of white LEDs shortly thereafter. Both use crystal growth and LED device technologies developed by Bridgelux and advanced silicon process and manufacturing technologies developed by Toshiba.

In May 2013, Bridgelux and Toshiba announced an enhanced strategic relationship through expanded collaboration based on jointly developed GaN-on-Silicon technology, as well as a manufacturing arrangement securing Bridgelux a source of supply for GaN-on-Silicon based LED chips. Through this transaction, Bridgelux transferred its GaN-on-Silicon technology and related assets to Toshiba. Further, the companies agreed to expand their licensing, R&D, and manufacturing relationship to continue joint innovation on LED chip and package technology.

Why GaN-on-Silicon?

GaN-on-Silicon represents one of the most substantial cost-down opportunities in the history of the LED industry, with approximate reductions relative to traditional LED technologies as follows:

  • 50% at the chip level, using 8” wafers and proven semiconductor manufacturing technologies;
  • 20 to 40% using traditional package level technology with GaN-on-Silicon chips; and
  • 4 to 5x further reduction using fundamentally new package architecture.

Long term, GaN-on-Silicon enables LED package technology to reap the benefits of advanced semiconductor processes to rapidly consolidate other lighting components, such as power and control integrated circuits, extending cost benefits to entire lighting systems.

Bridgelux plans to start shipping GaN-on-Silicon based products commercially in 2014.

The Next Frontier

With technology advances in lighting controls, LED lighting and the Internet of Things, the lighting industry is on the cusp of an unprecedented opportunity to herald in a new era of Smart Lighting and Smart Buildings.

Lighting is no longer an isolated, basic circuit-controlled system. Major industry trends are driving the development and adoption of Smart Lighting, including:

  • Energy & Building Codes
  • Building Integration & Optimization
  • Lighting Design & Experience
  • Access & Control

The fundamental goal of Bridgelux’s Smart Lighting Initiative is to improve end customer experience by increasing connectivity and functionality of lighting nodes, without overburdening lighting systems with unnecessary costs. Imagine controlling a building’s lighting from a PC or mobile device, managing dimming, on-off, and color temperature while monitoring useful life of each light and receiving advanced warning of a failure.  Enabling this functionality without an expensive hardware bill or installation fee is at the heart of the Bridgelux’s Smart Lighting vision.  This will drive increasing convergence at the hardware level between lighting controls and LED lighting technology, increasing functionality and reducing cost.. Bridgelux is working with world leaders in Smart Lighting technologies, to build new capabilities in networking and connectivity, lighting controls, software & data analytics.  Bridgelux’ vision is to build technology platforms to bridge our CoB lighting customers to this next era of smart LED lighting seamlessly. If you are interested in learning more about Smart Lighting, please contact SmartLighting@bridgelux.com