LED packaging service provider Unity Opto Technology expects smart lighting, high-end backlighting and infrared (IR) applications to drive business growth and hike overall gross margin by 3-5pp in 2017, according to company chairman Wu Ching-huei.
The firm has begun small-volume shipments of smart LED lighting products, and will start large-volume shipments by near the end of the second quarter or in third-quarter 2017, Wu said. Revenues from the product line are estimated to reach NT$600-700 million (US$18.9-22.0 million) in 2017 and NT$2-3 billion in 2018, Wu noted.
Unity Opto has landed orders for high-end LED backlighting with shipments scheduled through the end of 2017 and sample products are being certified for shipments in 2018, Wu indicated.
In addition to fast growing demand for LED automotive devices, Unity Opto will extend application of IR LED devices to vehicles in 2017, Wu said.
The revenue proportion for LED lighting will drop from over 50% in 2016 to 40%, including 7-8% for smart lighting, in 2017, while that for backlighting will rise from 30-40% to 40-45% and automotive devices from 6-7% to 10-15%, Wu noted.
Unity Opto hiked quotes by about 10% mainly for lighting and backlighting products in November-December 2016, Wu said. China-based LED makers may hike prices by 3-5% in second-quarter 2017, Wu added.
Taiwan LED firms are more competitive in the international market than China makers because the former have secured licensed use of patented technologies while most of the latter have not done so and thus are difficult to enter the US and Europe markets, Wu said.