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Samsung, Sumitomo Chemical to align on key LED component

Samsung LED Co. on Monday said that it has agreed with Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical Co. to form a joint venture to produce sapphire wafers that are necessary components of light-emitting diode, a semiconductor light source.

The LED manufacturer said the 50-50 venture will be capitalized at 80 billion won ($72 million), with production of sapphire ingots and wafers scheduled to begin early next year.

The venture will be set up before the year’s end, Samsung LED said.

The company said the joint venture would help it secure a stable supply of sapphire wafers, which have been running shortage on limited sapphire ingot production.

At the same time, demand for LED has been going up as an increasing number of customers and companies are catching on the advantages that LED lighting has over fluorescent lights, such as lower energy consumption and longer durability.

This year, Daishin Securities predicted that the sales of LED-backlit televisions will grow to 100 million units, up from 30 million of last year.

By Kim Ji-hyun and news reports  (jemmie@heraldcorp.com)
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