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I found this on the SI board:

"On the LED side, Nichia has the best product and owns the high end. Cree's stated goal is the be the low cost producer of a $0.10 product."

Here's the link:

Can anyone confirm or dispute the validity of this statement?

For Cree to be the 900 pound gorilla that it may have the potential to become, four things have to happen:

1. Cree has to develop blue laser technologies based on silicon carbide chips far superior to the sapphire-based chips Nichia, Fujitsu, NEC, and a slew of other companies have developed.

2. The silicon carbide chips used in the lasers have to sell at a price competitive to that of both sapphire-based blue lasers, and low enough so that there can be a widespread proliferation of blue lasers in various products (printers, LCD monitors, semiconductor equipment plants, DVD drives, storage drives, fiber optic networks, etc.)

3. The technology has to be developed without infringing on patents held by Nichia. This may or may not happen, as the two companies use completely diffeent materials.

4. The technology must be patent protected so that Nichia, Xerox, HP, and everyone else can't reproduce it. Otherwise, Cree becomes just another player in a commodity industry alongside multi-billion dollar giants.

Can Cree pull this off? Well, their trump card is their dominance in silicon carbide, but it looks like the situation will be very difficult. If I've made any errors in my analysis, please correct me.

Oh, by the way, I found out that SDL manufactures 980 nanometer pump lasers to use in fiber optic networks. Blue lasers have a wavelength of only 400 nanometers. If the cost of blue lasers can come down enough, this could be another booming market.
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