The world's largest factory for LED chips on six-inch wafers is being built in Kulim, Malaysia. It is making OSRAM the industry's cost leader. Five employees explain what happens there.

Map: Kulim, Malaysia, Indonesia


The Kulim Hi-Tech Park is a relatively new industrial estate in the south-east of the Malaysian state of Kedah. It is the perfect location for OSRAM's new LED chip factory, benefiting from airport connections and an expressway and being just a short distance from the Company's sister factory in Penang.


_ Works in plant controlling

"We attach great importance to compliance with local regulations. In the controlling department we work closely with the ministries and authorities, who are giving us their full backing for the project."

Seow Meng GOH

_ Designated Works Manager

"As works manager I take the welfare of our employees seriously. The Kulim site offers ergonomic workstations as well as a large cafeteria, break and prayer rooms, air conditioning, and even a gym."


_ Head of Process Integration

"We have one single objective in mind: For OSRAM to be no. 1 in the LED industry. We are achieving this through low prices—based on high production volumes, process optimization and process stability—, through continuous innovation, and through teamwork—with Regensburg, Penang and Wuxi."

Seow Chen Jane YEOH

_ Project Manager for Plant Construction and Designated Facility Manager

"We are building the future here. The roof is scheduled to be finished by the end of this year. Just one year later we will begin manufacturing chips for general lighting and premium applications. Kulim will be the largest and most modern LED chip factory in the world."

Kheng Siang LIM

_ Head of Product Marketing for General Lighting

"From the first steps to the finished product, all production processes are brought together under one roof in Kulim. This gives us optimum scope for making products to our customers' specifications and makes us very flexible."

A new dimension for LED chips

A conventional 60-watt LED light from the DIY center contains around ten LEDs.  Thousands and thousands of these kinds of LEDs, with surfaces measuring from half a square millimeter to one square millimeter, can be cut from an LED wafer with a diameter of six inches. In future these wafers will be produced at the new OSRAM plant in Kulim. They will be used for household lights but also for car interiors, lighting for offices and shops, and displays of all kind.

The 100,000m² facility, located around 40 kilometers from the OSRAM plant in Penang, is still a building site. However, production is on track to begin at the end of 2017. Once the final phase of construction is completed in 2020 this will be the largest and most modern LED chip factory in the world. By 2020 the market for general LED lighting will be growing by up to 9% annually. OSRAM is well placed to become the market leader in this field. "Thanks to Kulim we will be undercutting even the top Chinese competitors in terms of cost," says Andreas Guan, Head of Strategic Marketing and Planning at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors. This is made possible by locational advantages such as lower factor costs. Costs per chip are coming down as well, thanks to the high production volumes, something that will also benefit other LED operations within OSRAM Opto Semiconductors. The product will be superior to the competition in more than just price terms, however. It will also be of a higher quality, partly because of OSRAM's experience and technological edge, but also because the Kulim plant will be the first to bring together all of the production steps involved in chip manufacturing under one roof. The Regensburg, Penang and Wuxi sites will continue to perform individual work steps. "But in Kulim we can now control the entire system of LED chip manufacturing from beginning to end," explains Emmanuel Dieppedalle, SSL General Manager at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors. For customers this means optimum flexibility for their specifications – for OSRAM it represents a quantum leap in production capabilities.

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