January 26, 2005

Firm Debuts Revolutionary LED System

SEOUL (AFP) -- A South Korean semiconductor maker said it had pioneered an innovation that will allow energy efficient light-emitting diodes (LED) to light homes, officies and other buildings.

Seoul Semiconductor Co. said it was seeking a global patent for the "LED for AC," a LED that works on alternating current (AC) electric power and therefore can be widely used for general lighting requirements.

"This is power-saving, environment-friendly next-generation illumination equipment,' a company spokesman said.

The LED for AC could help save up to 80 percent of power used for illumination, the company said.

A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor device that emits light when an electric current passes through it.

Unlike conventional incandescent bulbs, power supplied to a LED is mostly converted into light with a minimum lost to heat.

Typical current applications for LEDs include indicator lights, LCD panel backlighting, flat-panel computer displays and fiber optic data transmission.

Most LED devices are powered by direct current (DC) batteries but the LED for AC can be hooked to a 220-voltage AC supply, Seoul Semiconductor said.

The LED can last for up to 80,000 hours but its durability as a lighting device has been restricted by the accompanying power converter.

"Differently from existing LED devices, we have found how to feed AC directly into a LED without changing AC to DC through a converter," technology advisor Lee Keon-Young told AFP.

"When you use DC to power a LED, it is as though you were using only one lane instead of both lanes. This LED for AC enables us to use both lanes," he said.

The firm said it plans to begin commercial production of the new lighting device sometime in the third quarter to September this year.


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Seoul Semiconductor Co.