Group IV Semiconductor
The Silicon Light Company
The Technology

What Silicon Brings to Solid-state Lighting

The incandescent light bulb has changed very little since it was first invented more than 100 years ago. It hasn’t grown much more efficient over the years, yet it’s used today in some 4.4 billion of North America’s 7 billion fixtures—in large part because the challenge of developing an inexpensive energy-saving alternative has proved exceedingly difficult. While compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) have caught on lately with their promise of energy savings, they’re still only about 20 to 25 percent efficient.

Lamps that use solid-state lighting (SSL) technology, by comparison, can achieve much higher efficiency. Unfortunately, up to now they have been too expensive to mass produce.

The goal of Group IV's silicon-based technology is to dramatically reduce the cost of solid-state lighting—overcoming the critical price barrier and enabling widespread adoption.

The Scoop on SSL Technology
In solid-state lamps, semiconductors such as LEDs (light-emitting diodes) convert electricity directly into light without having to activate a gas (as in fluorescents) or heat a filament (as in incandescent bulbs). This conserves a great deal of energy. SSL lamps also last far longer than conventional lamps. But LEDs have not achieved the brightness levels people are accustomed to with conventional lights, and the compound semiconductor materials on which LEDs are based remain stubbornly expensive to manufacture.

Silicon has proved its versatility and cost-effectiveness time and again in semiconductors used for computing, mobile communications and other areas of technology. Group IV is working rapidly to put those advantages to use in a solid-state light engine that will enable the creation of a new generation of solid-state lamps that are at once bright, efficient and inexpensive. These silicon-based SSL products will be designed for use with today’s standard bulb-and-socket fixtures, making them open to rapid adoption by end-users.