qdef

Televisions capable of producing high dynamic range (HDR) and a wide color gamut (WCG) were among the hottest trends emerging from this week’s IFA electronics trade show in Berlin, Germany.

As LG and Panasonic used the event to show off or unveil new 4K Ultra HD OLED models with WCG and HDR capabilities, manufacturers and developers of LED LCD TVs kept in step by showing new quantum dot (aka nano-crystal) TV technology and products, and announced key partnerships that should soon help bring the display advancements to retail stores at more affordable prices. For consumers, that means more lower-priced 4K Ultra HDTVs with HDR and WCG capability are just around the corner.

Read more about new quantum dot plans after the jump:

Quantum dot technology is based on an electro-chemical phenomenon using a compound made up of many different elements, including heavy metals. When molecules of this compound are bombarded with high-intensity energy, like a photon from an LED, a quantum effect produces energy in the form of bright visible light.

The physical size of each quantum dot determines the wave length of the energy that they emit. So a certain size dot will produce green light, a larger dot produces red light and smaller dot produces blue light. Depending on the approach, the quantum dot compounds are either placed in glass tube structures or sandwiched into an optical film. These are placed across the back of an LCD panel and in front of the full-array LED back lighting. Blue light photons from the LEDs collide with the quantum dots, and the inorganic particles generate a highly predictable and stable (won’t drift) colored light. These colors aren’t prone to differential-color aging like some OLED and phosphor-based technologies.

Quantum dots also help to avert a common problem with LED-LCD TVs, where reds and greens tend to look washed out when viewed up close. In fact, the harder quantum dots are driven the brighter they get, without loss of saturation.

Key developers and suppliers of quantum dot solutions include: Samsung, which makes its own nano-crystal system used in its SUHD TVs; QD Vision, which makes a quantum dot solution it calls Color IQ; and Nanosys and 3M which make Nanosys nano-crystals embedded in 3M Quantum Dot Enhancement Film (QDEF) for use in 4K LED LCDs.

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The following is a list of some of the key quantum dot technology news at IFA 2015 this week:

AUO, a Taiwan-based LCD panel manufacturer, joined with 3M and Nanosys to reveal that 3M’s QDEF containing Nanosys quantum dots will be part of a new “ALCD” panel lineup. From a supply chain perspective, the alliance means that it will be easier and less expensive for TV brands to purchase nano-crystal-based LED LCD panels for their next-gen TVs. The ALCD panels are expected to reach the market later this year.

Hisense, which just introduced its 65-inch ULED 65H10 TV using the Nano-sys/3M nano-crystal solution for the U.S. market, said it will be expanding distribution of its 55-inch ULED K7100 TV, which is available in China, to South America and South Africa. The ULED K7100 features a curved-screen TV using the QD Vision Color IQ quantum dot technology.

QD Vision’s unique edge-optic quantum dot solution is designed for integration into any form factor display, including curved televisions, thin-bezel monitors. The K7100 is the first curved television to incorporate Color IQ technology.

TCL, which has produced quantum dot LED LCD TVs using QD Vision technology, unveiled its 65-inch 8800S series curved-screen 4K LED LCD TV” equipped with Nanosys nano-crystals and 3M’s QDEF quantum dot solution. The set features direct-lit full-array backlighting and is expected to be able to display both high dynamic range and a wide color gamut.

Tongfang Global, which manufacturers TVs for the United States under the Seiki, Element and Westinghouse brands, will use Color IQ quantum dot technology from QD Vision for “wide color gamut” televisions.

“QD Vision’s Color IQ solution is the only wide color gamut solution that delivers world-class color at a highly competitive price,” said Ryan Chuang, Tongfong Global PM director. “We at Tongfang are looking forward to bringing these stunning new televisions to market worldwide.”

 By Greg Tarr

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