The global chip on board (COB) led market is dependent on LED manufacturers as they are the principal customers of this technology. LED manufacturers, such as general lighting, backlighting, and automotive lighting manufacturers, use the COB LED packaging method during the back-end process of LED production.
“The emergence of energy-efficient lighting technologies such as high-brightness LEDs in general lighting and automotive lighting, and the trend of miniaturization of electronic devices such as mobile computing devices, will bolster the demand for COB LEDs,” says Asif Gani, a lead research analyst for embedded systems at Technavio.
Technavio’s lead hardware and semiconductor market research analysts have identified the following four factors that will drive the growth of the global chip on board LED market:
- Decline in price of LEDs
- Miniaturization of electronic devices
- Shorter time-to-market
- Ban on mercury-based lighting sources
Decline in price of LEDs
The average selling price (ASP) of LEDs is falling rapidly owing to an oversupply of LEDs in the market. Falling LED prices have increased the adoption of COB LEDs, especially in the general lighting industry and is accelerating the transition from CFLs to COB LEDs in lighting applications. Therefore, the falling ASP of LEDs is expected to drive the global COB LED market during the forecast period.
Miniaturization of electronic devices
The demand for compact electronic devices has grown in almost every sector, be it telecommunication devices, automotive, industrial manufacturing, or healthcare equipment.
This trend has compelled LED manufacturers to invest in R&D to reduce the size and increase the performance of LEDs, which has led to advances in LED chip technologies. COB LED technology directly attaches the LED chips in the form of arrays onto the substrates, thereby offering higher packing density compared to other traditional surface mount technologies. The higher packing density enhances the output of LEDs in terms of intensity and uniformity.
“The miniaturization of electronic devices, such as mobile computing devices, will positively impact the market for COB LEDs,” says Asif.
Conventional LED packaging involves attaching the LED chip onto the substrate, before finally mounting it on the printed circuit board (PCB). This process involves individual packaging of each LED chip and it includes wire bonding, curing, phosphor coating, and encapsulation of the chip. COB LEDs allow for assembly of multiple low-power LED chips in an array directly onto the PCB.
The absence of ceramic substrate, phosphor, lens, and a complicated solder reflow assembly process reduces the time-to-market of an LED and enables the manufacturer to push the product at a faster pace to the next level of the supply chain. COB LEDs can also be mounted directly on the heat sink unit of a luminaire, surpassing surface-mount technology processes. This step makes the assembly process easier, further reducing the time-to-market.
The shorter time-to-market will have a moderately high impact on general lighting and automotive LED manufacturers due to the rising demand for LEDs in these sectors. The increasing demand can be efficiently met by enhancing supply chain capabilities.
Ban on mercury-based lighting sources
Mercury-based lighting solutions such as incandescent lamps are banned in most countries including the 28 countries of the European Union (EU), BRIC nations, US, and Japan due to environmental concerns. This ban has led to the adoption of energy-efficient light sources such as CFL, halogen, and LED lights in the market. These light sources consume less energy and have a longer life span than incandescent light sources.
LEDs are non-hazardous sources of lighting as they are devoid of ozone and mercury, save energy, and have other properties that enhance sustainability. Therefore, OEMs around the world are investing heavily in LED technology to reduce their power supply cost and adhere to these legislative changes. The phasing out of mercury-based lighting solutions will have a moderately high impact on general lighting LED manufacturers.
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