Veeco Sees Future in Mini and Micro LEDs, GaN Power Electronics, and VCSELs

I spoke with Peo Hansson, senior vice president and general manager of MOCVD business at Veeco. Although much of Veeco’s revenue has come from selling MOCVD systems for LED production, the company now sees a growing market for selling systems for the fabrication of mini and micro LEDs, GaN power electronics for 5G and power management in electric vehicles, and vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) and other lasers for 3D scanning in driverless vehicles and also gesture recognition.

Micro and Mini LEDs

PEO mentioned that a number of companies on the market are producing the first-generation mini LED displays including Sony and Samsung. Such companies get their LED display panels from third-party producers, which may use Veeco MOCVD systems to produce their products.

He emphasized that currently true micro LED display applications (with LEDs under 50 nm in length and width), are still under development. So, for companies that are developing the mini and micro LED technology, Veeco offers the Propel single-wafer system for R&D and pilot production. When asked about its customers that are mini and micro LEDs developers he said, “Now we are seeing more companies move into pilot production.”

Peo further revealed that one customer is using its system to develop nanowire LEDs, potentially another option for high-resolution displays.

The third party fabricators of mini LED display panels that already have a fully developed product and are beginning volume production can use the Epik 700 and Epik 868 systems, he said. The company also offers the  K475i tool for micro LED applications.

GaN Power Electronics Opportunities

In the power electronics market, he sees opportunities in 5G applications as well as electric vehicles. He said that Veeco originally designed the Propel systems for the production of GaN power electronics and that the Propel systems can meet such production needs.

VCSEL Application Opportunities

Peo indicated that in the future, the company will sell more MOCVD systems for VCSEL production than it currently does. Also, the longer range scanning in autonomous vehicles will likely use InP-based lasers, according to Peo.  And such lasers can be produced with Veeco’s K475i MOCVD system, Peo mentioned.

I asked him about the effects of a trade war with China and especially its effect on the market for LED producers in China. He commented that the company expects the Chinese LED market to will be saturated with LEDs. “We think the market will have an over-capacity situation this year,” he said.

Peo said that the company anticipates that a growing percentage of its business will come from producers and developers of micro and mini LEDs, GaN power electronics, and VCSELs. He also says that China is currently less involved in the areas upon which Veeco’s MOCVD business is beginning to focus.