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Hi,
This is a bit circumspect but I'll put my 2 cents in. Hopefully it will shed a little (blue) light. ;-)

I think that HP actually manufactures their own LED's. As I understand it there are several companies making high brightness blue LED's but CREE is the only company that does it on SiC. All of the other companies use GaN (Gallium Nitride). For awhile the GaN people were ahead of CREE in terms of brightness. I think that CREE has caught up in terms of brightness now and has a product that is cheaper and easier to use which is why we are all a little richer and CREE has a 12 month backlog.

I got some of this information from reading an article in the St. Petersburg Times about a company called Uniroyal Optoelectronics (UTCI). UTCI is a joint effort between Uniroyal (a company that makes tires and orange juice among other things) and an optoelectronics firm that one of Uniroyal's major stockholders founded. Anyway I found the article amusing because it said things like, "manufacturing is manufacturing" implying that if you can make OJ then your can sure make blue LEDs. They also talked about hiring away key HP personnel to get started. According to TMF-data net sales fell 16% for the last quarter, and the article said that they had huge debt from the startup. yechh.

Anyway... here's a link to the article:
http://www.sptimes.com/News/110899/Business/Led_there_be_light.shtml

and here's one link about HP's blue LED's
http://www.semiconductor.agilent.com/news/pr/15jul97.html

Best wishes,
Eric (ejadles)
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