Taiwan Special Report

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Discovery Reports

CAT's sapphire substrates illuminate future for LED products

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 October, 2013, 2:22pm
UPDATED : Friday, 25 October, 2013, 2:23pm

When a group of young specialist engineers back in 1999 needed funding for their cutting-edge projects, Crystal Applied Technology (CAT) was approached by the Taiwanese government to provide support. The fulfilment of the engineers' dreams illuminated the road to success for what later became Taiwan's leading manufacturer of optical electronics products. Shifting its focus to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in 2003, CAT quickly established itself as an upstream company. These timely decisions paved the way for CAT's rapid growth and propelled it as an integral part of Taiwan's economy.

"We focus on our expertise and capitalise on research, development and innovation," says company chairman Michael Chang. "That is why we are able to manufacture low-cost products with high quality." Specialising in the production, slicing and polishing of ingot wafers and sapphire substrates, CAT has also risen as the leading LED manufacturer on the mainland, Japan and South Korea.

The demand for LED and other energy-efficient lighting has continuously increased over the years. In response to market needs, CAT leveraged its expertise in patterned sapphire substrates (PSS) for the production of cheaper and brighter LEDs. For the first time since being introduced to the market, LEDs can be sold at prices competitive with those of fluorescents.

CAT's facility in Xiangzhou is the biggest ingot wafer factory on a global scale. Using its supply chain, this investment on the mainland positions CAT in an opportune market and acts as a key manufacturing hub. A year into its operation, the factory highlights CAT's continued confidence in China's position as an economic powerhouse.

In keeping with its mission to provide better products at lower costs, CAT is keen to collaborate with other companies for new machinery and product-development partnerships.

"We're focusing on three main things in the coming years," Chang says. "We will grow our sapphire substrate market, increase PSS sales in China, and pursue research and development for optical applications."


Crystal Applied Technology