Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Hisashi Maruyama; hereinafter Hitachi Chemical) announces the launch of mass production and sales of quantum dot*1 film, an optical technology that realizes a wider color gamut*2 in liquid crystal display (LCD).
Since December 2015 Hitachi Chemical has accelerated the development of quantum dot film by introducing the technology of the leading quantum-dot company, Nanosys, Inc. (Head Office: California, USA; President and CEO: Jason Hartlove; hereinafter Nanosys). This partnership has allowed us to combine Nanosys's quantum dot technology and Hitachi Chemical's strength in polymer science, thus enabling mass production and sales of quantum dot film in about one year after the start of development.
In recent years, the penetration of ultra-high definition 4K TVs has grown at a remarkable speed and television makers are already developing 8K TVs with even higher definition. As of 2016, more than 40,000,000 4K TV sets have been shipped around the world, and the market is expected to grow to over 80 million units by 2020*3. In 2012, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) introduced BT.2020*4, a new set of standards for ultra-high definition televisions, such as 4K and 8K, driving display makers to speed up the development of products that meet the new parameters. To realize a wider color gamut with conventional LCDs, television color filters, which produce colors in the display, need to be improved to achieve enhanced vividness. Since such improvement sacrifices the display's brightness, the use of brighter backlights becomes necessary, resulting in higher LCD power consumption.
This has driven Hitachi Chemical to develop quantum dot film with a wider color gamut without increasing power consumption and to establish the structure for commercial production and distribution. By using quantum dot film, more than 90 percent of the BT.2020 color standard can be displayed, a performance difficult to achieve with conventional LCDs. Quantum dot film can also be assembled along with other optical films or substrates in the LCD manufacturing process, saving display makers the trouble of installing new equipment.
Hitachi Chemical intends to expand its share of quantum dot film with a focus on major TV markets, such as China, South Korea and other Asian economies. We are also enthusiastic about applying this product to not only 4K and 8K TVs but also other products, such as smartphone and tablet displays, to further increase our global share. Hitachi Chemical continues to promote open innovation that actively enhances collaboration using external resources for speedy commercialization.
*1 Quantum dots are particles several to tens of nanometers in size composed of semiconductor microcrystals. The wavelength of light can be adjusted freely by controlling the particles' components or size.
*2 Color gamut is a range of colors possible to display. By widening color gamut, LCDs can produce more vivid, colorful images.
*3 Source: World Trend of Demands for AV & IT Products - Outlook toward 2020 (Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association)
*4 The BT.709 standard adopted for the conventional 2K high definition TV covers only about 70 percent of the colors that exist in nature. BT.2020, on the other hand, can represent almost all colors existing in nature, considerably broadening the range of colors compared with BT.709.