Australian semiconductor developer, BluGlass Limited (ASX: BLG), is pleased to provide this Quarterly Update to accompany the Appendix 4C Quarterly Report for the three months ended 31 December 2019.

During the period, BluGlass launched its new direct-to-market Laser Diode (LD) business unit to exploit the company’s unique tunnel junction technology in several high value, high margin LD markets. This market opportunity presents near term, significant commercial revenues for the company with an initial target market representing US$40-65M for BluGlass by 2025.

The Company also entered a non-exclusive collaboration with projector lighting innovator, Luminus, to co-develop novel RPCVD tunnel junction applications. During the quarter, BluGlass also continued its joint development with industry leaders, AIXTRON SE and Bridgelux.

The Quarterly Update and 4C is available to download here

BluGlass launches Laser Diode Business Unit

In October, BluGlass launched its direct-to-market business unit to leverage the competitive advantages of RPCVD tunnel junctions for GaN Laser Diode applications. The Laser Diode market has a number of key differentiators and the direct market approach will allow BluGlass to capture more downstream value in this defined volume, high value and high margin market.

GaN laser diode for industrial cutting

​​The GaN laser diode market opportunity is an emerging market expected to grow to a US$658M addressable market for BluGlass by 2025. GaN lasers require a higher performance, lower cost technology solution to help address significant unmet needs in the industry.

BluGlass will initially focus on applications for the industrial laser diode market for welding and cutting applications, targeting a market share of 6-10% (US$40-65M) of the addressable market by 2025.

BluGlass is developing GaN laser diode prototypes using both MOCVD and RPCVD growth techniques and plans to deliver its first laser diode product in calendar year 2020. These new products are expected to deliver growing revenues for BluGlass from CY2021.

This business unit will directly exploit the key US Patent for buried activated p-GaN for tunnel junctions awarded to BluGlass in July last year. BluGlass through its EpiBlu subsidiary already has Laser Diode epitaxial know-how and today supplies laser diode wafers for three existing customers. The Company has received significant new industry interest since the business launch announcement.

BluGlass continues to secure the LD supply chain to capture value and control the fabrication end to end – from epitaxial growth through to testing and reliability, enabling close interaction with end-use customers. The Company plans to launch its test facility in the US in the next quarter.

BluGlass to exhibit and present RPCVD TJs for Laser Diodes paper at SPIE Photonics West 2020

BluGlass is exhibiting at the 2020 SPIE Photonics West Conference from 2-6 February, at the Moscone Centre, San Francisco, USA. Industry and investors are invited to come and see us at Booth 4783.

Our Head of Epitaxy, Dr. Josh Brown will be presenting an invited technical presentation and paper on the technical approach and advantages for high-brightness Laser Diodes, using RPCVD tunnel junction technology to reduce optical loss and drive higher performance. Dr. Brown will also present some of our recent RPCVD and LD results at the conference.

Board Changes

In December, following three years as Chair of the BluGlass Board and ten years as a Non-Executive Director, Bill Johnson announced his intention to retire.

James Walker has accepted the role of non-executive Chair of the Company, following Bill’s resignation. The changes will be effective from 7 February 2020.

James has served on the BluGlass Board since July 2017 and is an experienced leader in commercialising new technologies across global markets. In taking on the Board Chair role, James will work closely with the executive team to further drive the focus on delivering near term commercial revenue and business opportunities.

Bill’s impact during his tenure has been instrumental in the company’s transition from pure R&D to a market focused company with a strongly differentiated technology with multiple revenue and commercialisation paths. Bill provided invaluable industry insight, guidance and support to the Board, management and technical team. The Board and BluGlass team thank Bill for his leadership and effort over his time with the company.

Advancing our collaborations with a number of industry leading partners

During the quarter BluGlass continued to advance its paid joint venture agreement with commercial lighting developer, Bridgelux. The two parties are collaborating to build on BluGlass’ remote plasma chemical vapour deposition (RPCVD) tunnel junction technology, to develop cascade LEDs and establish a path to market for cascade LEDs.

In December BluGlass also announced that it had entered into a non-exclusive collaboration with California-based LED innovator, Luminus. The two companies are co-developing cascade LEDs for the rapidly growing entertainment, display and projector application markets.

Luminus is eager to exploit the performance advantages of RPCVD tunnel junctions to further improve their unique projector lighting technologies. Projectors applications require ultra-high-performance LEDs and could benefit from the smaller form factor, higher performance (intensity) and lower cost benefits that RPCVD-enabled cascade LEDs potentially offer. Projectors are also heat-sensitive devices, ideally operated at lower current densities to achieve peak efficiencies - a key benefit enabled by cascade LEDs.

Luminus is an industry leader in developing leading-edge LED technology for high performance, high value LED segments including industrial, medical, horticulture and entertainment applications. Luminus works hand-in-hand with the automotive, display and projection industries most innovative companies to illuminate everything from heads-up displays to projection systems for the next generation of vehicles and consumer technologies.

Aixtron G4 2800 Retrofit project and commercial scaling of RPCVD

The significant scaling program to retrofit the Aixtron G4 to RPCVD mode continues to make progress with all RPCVD hardware components now fully simulated and designed. These parts are now being machined by our specialist manufacturing partners locally and overseas.

Our collaboration partner, AIXTRON are currently onsite at BluGlass’ Silverwater facility to complete their software installation for the retrofitted RPCVD BLG-450.

AIX 2800 G4 being retrofitted to RPCVD mode

Operating metrics

Customer foundry revenue for the quarter was up on the previous quarter to $348,000 with year to date receipts of $477,000, of which $123,440 was from Laser Diode foundry customers.

During the quarter, operational expenditure was in line with the Company’s budgeted expectations.

BluGlass’ cash position at the end of the quarter is $3.6M. BluGlass expects to receive an R&D Tax Rebate of ~$2.5M for FY2020 later in the year.

The Quarterly Update and 4C is available to download here

About BluGlass

BluGlass Limited (ASX: BLG) is a global leader commercialising a breakthrough technology using Remote Plasma Chemical Vapour Deposition (RPCVD) for the manufacture of high-performance LEDs and other devices. BluGlass has invented a new process using RPCVD to grow advanced materials such as gallium nitride (GaN) and indium gallium nitride (InGaN). These materials are crucial to the production of high-efficiency devices such as power electronics and high-brightness (LEDs) used in next-generation vehicle lighting, virtual reality systems and device backlighting. The RPCVD technology, because of its low temperature and flexible nature, offers many potential benefits over existing technologies including higher efficiency, lower cost, substrate flexibility (including GaN on silicon), and scalability.

For More Information Contact: Stefanie Winwood +61 2 9334 2300 swinwood@bluglass.com.au

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