U.S. increases policy subsidies for major manufacturers competing to develop driver ICs for straight fluorescent lamps

Power semiconductor suppliers are actively encircling the fluorescent tube driver IC layout. Because the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) issued a new policy on Premium T8 subsidies in June 2012, which encouraged the rise in demand for straight fluorescent lamps, it attracted Infineon, NXP, and STMicroelectronics ( ST), International Rectifier (IR) and other chip manufacturers are competing to invest in the development of new product lines for straight-tube fluorescent lamp driver ICs, in the hope of seizing greater business opportunities.

Xie Dongzhe, marketing manager of Infineon Taiwan, said that the company has long-term cooperation with international first-line lighting manufacturers and has accumulated rich development experience, so the driver IC products developed can be closer to market demand.

Xie Dongzhe, marketing manager of Infineon Taiwan, said that in view of the high mercury content of T9 straight fluorescent lamps, NEMA is pushing the Premium T8 subsidy policy to accelerate the replacement of T9 lamps by T8 lamps by end consumers. Therefore, in the second half of 2012, the company had already placed orders for straight fluorescent lamps and planned to launch T8 straight fluorescent lamp terminal products that meet the requirements of the Premium T8 subsidy policy in 2013.

Premium T8 subsidy policy requires that the frequency of T8 straight fluorescent ballast (Ballast) must meet 40kHz, 20kHz or 33kHz; power factor is greater than 0.9; total harmonic distortion (THD) is less than 20% to improve T8 straight fluorescent energy saving benefit. Xie Dongzhe pointed out that Infineon has published the metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) required for ballasts for T8 straight fluorescent lamps, and the driver IC solution ICB2FL03G that integrates pulse width modulation (PWM).

In addition, Infineon has also actively deployed dimmable straight tube fluorescent lamp driver ICs. Xie Dongzhe said that with the increasing attention paid to energy saving and carbon reduction issues, the demand for dimmable products that are more energy-efficient than non-dimmable straight fluorescent lamps has risen rapidly, especially for businesses that use large amounts of electricity and demand an environmental atmosphere. The field, coupled with the higher gross profit of dimmable straight fluorescent lamps, will drive the demand for dimmable straight fluorescent lamps to drive ICs.

Faced with the prospect of straight-tube fluorescent lamps, chip suppliers have already rubbed their hands to prepare for a big card slot. Dongzhe Xie emphasized that the company will continue to develop new products of non-dimmable and dimmable straight tube fluorescent lamp driver ICs, such as driver ICs that support the number of lamps and package sizes, in order to meet the specifications of different customers.

Even if the new generation of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are coming, the market demand for straight fluorescent lamps still exists. Xie Dongzhe analyzed that lighting belongs to the traditional industry. Looking back on incandescent bulbs, fluorescent lamps to LED bulbs, the new and old technologies have been coexisting in the market for a long time, and the commercialized luminous efficiency of straight tube fluorescent lamps has reached 120 lumens per watt. Slightly better than LED and incandescent lamps, so the end consumer demand for straight fluorescent lamps is still growing. It will be Philips, OSRAM and other international first-line lighting manufacturers continue to kill Focus on key markets.

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