LED industry could spark new growth in Boise

Name a major Boise company that already has invested millions in the future of a new technology that is expected to revolutionize the way we light the world.

If you thought Micron Technology, you're wrong. It's J.R. Simplot Co.

Simplot helped a former Micron executive form light-emitting diode manufacturer SemiLEDs Corp. in 2005. The company, headquartered in Boise, has a fabrication plant in Taiwan rolling out some of the leading lighting technology in the world. The World Economic Forum recognized SemiLEDs as a 2009 Technology Pioneer whose products may allow low-energy LEDs to replace today's incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs.

"The world needs low-cost lighting," said Trung Doan, SemiLEDs' CEO, who lives in Taiwan. "That's why we started SemiLEDs and that's the reason Simplot supports us."

Doan's dream to quickly convert the world to LED lighting comes as Congress is seeking a dramatic new energy policy promoting efficiency and non-carbon fuel alternatives to combat climate change. LEDs use one-seventh the power and last years longer than current bulbs.

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