Reuters | March 28, 2011 | Ju-min Park and Isabel Reynolds
* Samsung, Sumitomo in $72 mln LED wafer venture
* 50/50 venture to start production from early 2012
* Samsung sees LED wafers in short supply due to strong LED demand (Adds details, background)
SEOUL/TOKYO, March 28 (Reuters) – Samsung LED and Japan‘s Sumitomo Chemical have agreed to set up a 80 billion won ($72 million) joint venture in Korea to produce sapphire substrates used to make light-emitting diodes (LED).
The move comes as global manufacturers from electronics firms to carmakers seek to diversify their supply chains after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan March 11 raised concerns that supplies of key components may be severely affected.
U.S.-based Rubicon Technology Inc , a major LED wafer supplier, said recently it was seeing increased demand for substrates from Japanese customers after the earthquake. [ID:nN16128683]
Samsung LED, a joint venture between Samsung Electronics and Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co Ltd , said the investment plan was not related to the earthquake and was aimed at securing stable supply of wafers to produce LEDs.