To meet the growing global demands of the burgeoning light-emitting diode market, Osram Opto Semiconductors broke ground today for what will be the world’s most advanced LED chip factory, according to the company, in Penang, Malaysia. The joint ceremony, led by Dr. Rüdiger Müller, CEO of Osram Opto Semiconductors, and Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, chief minister of Penang/Malaysia, marked the beginning of construction for the 30,000sq-m. factory. The new facility is expected to open in the spring of 2009.

“We are delighted to continue strengthening the partnership today between Osram and Penang, one that has flourished for 30 years. The groundbreaking ceremony today begins a new chapter in our shared success story,” Müller says. “With the construction of the new LED chip factory in Penang, Osram is, for the first time, exporting central strategic technology know-how to another market outside of its home country of Germany. Our many years of partnership have meant that we have the utmost trust in the quality, motivation skills of the local workforce, and authorities.”

The factory in Penang will operate, in addition to the company’s main plant in Regensburg, Germany, to manufacture LED chips with state-of-the-art nitride technology. Additionally, the capacity of the existing LED assembly line in Penang, which began operation in 1972, will be increased by more than 50%. This expansion will create more than 800 new jobs in the long term, bringing the total number to more than 3,000, which will make Osram one of the largest employers in the northern region of Malaysia.