Strategically Blogging

Shonika Vijay

High-End Lighting Markets for Solid State Lighting

Shonika Vijay 09/30/2014

Lighting has always been seen as a commodity market. In fact, most people buy their light bulbs from the same place they buy their milk. It is a price war out there with slim profit margins on lighting products; meanwhile, the market keeps demanding higher quality. The general indoor lighting market mostly consists of the following form factors: downlights, troffers, suspended pendants, track lights, and high bay lights (a detailed market report of general lighting luminaires with these form factors along with all technologies will be released this November). Downlights and troffers make up the majority of the installed luminaire base for all regions. In order to compete for penetration in these installed luminaire bases, LED lighting has had to slash its prices while making sure it can sustain the light output levels of halogens, incandescent, and fluorescent technologies.

Fiber Laser Market Continues to Evolve

Allen Nogee 09/05/2014

I’ve always been a person who has been very interested in the latest technology, and sometimes it’s hard for me to believe how much technology has changed over the years.

Everything from flat screen TVs, DVRs, audio equipment, cables and wiring, computers, tablets, smartphones, and so many others have evolved over the years, and in most ways, the new technology is quicker, smaller, cheaper, and more energy efficient. Today we take all these things for granted, but it wasn’t that long ago that a flat screen TV or a smartphone was a novelty. Today we just can’t even imagine living without these things.

Martin Shih

A Win-Win Situation: Cree Announces Investment in Lextar through Private Placement

Martin Shih 09/05/2014

Cree recently announced plans to invest US $83M in Lextar Electronics, one of Taiwan’s major LED manufacturers, in order to acquire 13% of Lextar shares and to enter a supply/royalty agreement. Cree will become Lextar’s second largest shareholder (AUO, Lextar’s parent company, is the biggest shareholder) and obtain one member of BOD. This deal is expected to be done at the end of 2014 and the lock-up period is 3 years, which means Lextar will reserve its capacity for Cree for 3 years.

Lasers in Medical Imaging: The Forecast Looks Very Bright

Allen Nogee 07/11/2014

Almost all medical imaging to date has used one of three technologies: X-rays, magnetism (MRI), or ultrasound. X-rays alone have been used for almost 120 years now, and although today’s imaging technology has improved vastly over the many years, the fact remains that x-rays, ultrasound, and magnetism are all technologies that, due to many factors, produce coarse images, at least by today’s standards. But what if a very coherent light source was used instead, maybe a laser?

Actually, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), which produces images based on the reflections of coherent light, is not a new technology. OCT has been used since the early 1990s, especially in the area of ophthalmology, where the images produced by OCT are 100 times finer than standard images produced by ultrasound. In just the last five years, OCT has become one of the most important retinal imaging techniques used today.

The Impact of the Epistar Acquisition on the LED Industry

Martin Shih 07/09/2014

Epistar (2448.TW) announced a plan to fully acquire Forepi (3061.TW), the second-largest chipmaker in Taiwan, through a share swap (1:3.448), implying 18% share dilution to Epistar. The effective date will be the end of 2014, and Forepi will be delisted from the TAIEX.

After the merger, Epistar will become the world’s largest LED chip maker in terms of capacity with a global market share of 15%, which will better position the company to lead in future technology development.

Consolidation in the laser market, Part 1--How much is there?

By Tom Hausken
It seems like I hear about consolidation at every meeting I go to, whether in good times or bad. And I've come to the conclusion that everybody means something different when they talk about it. I thought that maybe it's time to present some facts, so here goes.

Over the last year I've been filling in a vast spreadsheet for the Laser Focus market survey and for our industrial laser forecast. It's a lot of work, but I'm able to refine it a little at a time. One of the things that I was able to find out was the amount of consolidation in the industrial laser market. (By industrial lasers we mostly include everything but diode lasers for communications and DVDs.)

What I found is that the top 10 industrial laser suppliers get about 86% of the revenues. These are companies like Coherent, TRUMPF, Rofin-Sinar, Cymer, and so on The next 10 get about 10% of the revenues. And all those dozens of little companies you see at Photonics West and Laser Munich? They make less than 4%.


(By the way, I tried as much as possible to strip out everythng but the laser revenues. And, the exact share varies a little depending on different definitions that I need to apply. But the basic ratio doesn't seem to change much.)

Many of the little companies do quite nicely, though, or at least they do in normal times. They may supply into close partners, like military contractors, or they sell other products or get some system revenues. Some operate very lean.

I make that point because I don't assume that just because they are small that they are necessarily more vulnerable. Certainly the recession will upset things. But consolidation is a lot more complicated than that. The laser market is probably too fragmented to lump together like this.

But that's for a future installment.

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