Color Innovation: Quantum Dot displays and new standards for the AV industry

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Color Innovation: Quantum Dot displays and new standards for the AV industry

I was on the road with an AV reseller/partner recently who asked me what companies (excluding my own) I think are the most exciting in the AV space. My answer surprised her – Nanosys and 3M (she’d never heard of Nanosys and still viewed 3M though the lens of their legacy projection line). So why these companies?  They are at the forefront of an interesting new display technology that has the potential to improve display image quality in a dramatic way – Quantum Dots.

Haven’t heard about them? They were probably the hottest topic at last year’s SID conference, and they are already the basis for the display on the Kindle Fire HDX. Customers are increasingly demanding color accuracy for a broader range of colors on their displays. After all, if I spend $5,000 on my new 4K display for my product design collaboration center, Coca-Cola red better be just that – Coca-Cola red. The same holds true for engineering work, seismic data that could help me find the next great oil reserve…the list goes on. Quantum dots may be able to deliver a new level of color quality while reducing energy use and cost of ownership for the display itself.

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Discover the Power of True Color with Hisense and Nanosys at IFA 2014

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Discover the Power of True Color with Hisense and Nanosys at IFA 2014

Hisense's new XT910 85" UHD Quantum Dot TV, featuring Nanosys QDEF technology on display at IFA 2014 in Berlin, Germany. 

Hisense is showing off their new line of Quantum Dot enhanced UHD TV's this week at IFA 2014 in Berlin, Germany. The company is planning to release a new lineup of UHD TV's featuring QDEF technology from Nanosys and 3M in Q1 2015. Led by the world's largest Quantum Dot TV, the 85" XT910, the sets will deliver 100% NTSC color gamut, Ultra High Definition 4K resolution and deep blacks with dynamic direct backlighting.

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Will Quantum Dots Dominate Displays?  At Display Week 2014, high-efficiency quantum dots sharpen colors

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Will Quantum Dots Dominate Displays? At Display Week 2014, high-efficiency quantum dots sharpen colors

Dotty Displays: The Kindle Fire HDX is one of the first consumer devices to use displays with quantum dots.

Dotty Displays: The Kindle Fire HDX is one of the first consumer devices to use displays with quantum dots.

Rumpelstiltskin had the admirable ability to convert low-cost straw into valuable gold. Today, display manufacturers are starting to reap the benefits of their own photonic alchemy, converting the light from cheap sources into the precise wavelengths needed for more efficient displays that can show sharper colors.

This magic is accomplished using what are known as quantum dots. These are semiconductor nanocrystals that exhibit a range of unusual electrical and optical properties, but for decades they were largely confined to research laboratories. Now, quantum dots are being used in mass-produced displays for the consumer market, including such items as Sony flat-screen televisions and Amazon.com’s Kindle Fire HDX e-reader. And the field is still rapidly growing and evolving. At the Display Week 2014 conference of the Society for Information Display this past June in San Diego, quantum dots were a hot topic, both in the exhibit hall and in presented papers; the symposium schedule included three separate sessions dedicated to the subject.

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Reuters: With the help of Milpitas, California-based Nanosys Inc, the Kindle Fire HDX 7 became one of Amazon's best-selling tablets, winning critical acclaim for its vibrant display.

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Reuters: With the help of Milpitas, California-based Nanosys Inc, the Kindle Fire HDX 7 became one of Amazon's best-selling tablets, winning critical acclaim for its vibrant display.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 featuring a Quantum Dot display from Nanosys and 3M

Aug 13 (Reuters) - When Amazon.com Inc was developing its most advanced tablet to date, it asked a little-known company to solve a tricky problem with the screen: how to produce rich colors without draining battery life.

With the help of Milpitas, California-based Nanosys Inc, the Kindle Fire HDX 7 became one of Amazon's best-selling tablets, winning critical acclaim for its vibrant display.

The answer? Quantum dots, which are semiconductor crystals 10,000 times finer than a human hair. They convert electrical energy into light and can be manipulated to produce precise colors.

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DisplaySearch Expects Rising Use of Quantum Dot Displays, Especially for Smartphones and Tablet PCs

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DisplaySearch Expects Rising Use of Quantum Dot Displays, Especially for Smartphones and Tablet PCs

Quantum Dot Display market penetration by application

SANTA CLARA, CALIF., July 8, 2014—With increasing competition from AMOLED, TFT LCD display manufacturers are beginning to look to quantum dot technology to improve color performance, according to the new Quantum Dot Technology and Market Forecast Report from NPD DisplaySearch. Adoption of quantum dots is expected to be highest in smartphone TFT LCD displays, as pricing is dependent on the area of the display, and competition with AMOLED is most fierce in smartphones. The report forecasts that penetration of quantum dots in smartphone TFT LCDs will be 3% in 2015, growing to 26% in 2020. Penetration in tablet PCs will also be relatively high, with nearly 2% penetration in 2015, growing to 15% in 2020. Quantum dot penetration in LCD TV is expected to be lower, due to the large area of TV displays; NPD DisplaySearch forecasts that less than 1% of LCD TV screens will use quantum dots in 2015, growing to 9% in 2020.

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Apple Retina rivals emerge: Asus display goes 4K

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Apple Retina rivals emerge: Asus display goes 4K

Asus is getting ready to market a 15.6-inch laptop with lots of horsepower and a 4K display. Should Apple be worried?

Nanosys Quantum Dot display in ASUS Zenbook NX500

Apple's Retina is about to get one-upped. Asus has slated a laptop with a 4K display for later this year, while Sharp showed off a prototype 8K display.

The Zenbook NX500's 15.6-inch 3,840x2,160 IPS (in-plane switching) display will use a new technology called Quantum Dots, according to Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies.

"Only the second mobile display to ship with Quantum Dots," Soneira said in an email.

"That increases the color gamut, brightness, and power efficiency all at the same time," he added. And it's a technology that Apple is also rumored to be looking into.

By comparison, Apple's 15.4-inch MacBook Pro has a 2,880x1,800 resolution display (about 3 million pixels less than Asus').

"The display...delivers lifelike color reproduction with a wide color gamut...plus factory-calibrated color temperature, making it perfect for photographers and other professionals who need accurate and consistent color fidelity for their workflows," Asus said in a press release.

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LG, Samsung to mass produce Quantum Dot displays in the second half of 2014

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LG, Samsung to mass produce Quantum Dot displays in the second half of 2014

Quantum Dot display is said to be the next generation display technology which offers a lot of improvements over the traditional OLED displays. This particular technology has been in the market for some years now and many existing manufacturers have already considered integrating these displays onto their devices. However, several challenges like high cost and production constraints have prevented these manufacturers from mass producing QD displays.

But it seems like these challenges have been overcome as the source states that LG as well as Samsung is planning to mass produce Quantum Dot displays in the second half of 2014. So, these displays could easily end up on the next flagship models from the company scheduled to release next year.

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Quantum Dots Enable High Dynamic Range TV

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Quantum Dots Enable High Dynamic Range TV

On the show floor at SID 2014, Nanosys' 10-foot-by-10-foot booth won a Best in Show award in the small exhibit category.  Nanosys, which makes the quantum dots used in 3M's quantum-dot enhancement film (QDEF), was showing two TV sets side-by-side: one was a conventional LCD TV; the second incorporated both QDEF and Dolby's HDR technology, and the image was compelling. But what does QDEF have to do with HDR?

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Tianma Shows Off Quantum Dot Display with Nanosys QDEF at SID 2014

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Tianma Shows Off Quantum Dot Display with Nanosys QDEF at SID 2014

Tianma NLT is also trying to move some of the more advanced display technologies into the commercial and professional markets.  For example, it showed a prototype of a 21.3″ QXGA display using the 3M QDEF quantum dot film for expanded color gamut and it showed a prototype medical monitor (also 21.3″ QXGA) with an Oxide backplane that can help improve uniformity.

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Nanosys QDEF Wins "Best in Show" at 2014 Display Industry Awards for a Third Time

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Nanosys QDEF Wins "Best in Show" at 2014 Display Industry Awards for a Third Time

Nanosys CEO Jason Hartlove (right) and Dolby's Ajit Ninan (center) accepting the Best in Show award from Apple's Wei Chen at the 2014 Display Industry Awards in San Diego

Nanosys Quantum Dot technology is a 3-Time winner of the Society for Information Display's prestigious Best In Show Award. This year the award was given for Nanosys' collaboration with Dolby for a display with a true-to-life experience. The stunning display shows 2,000 nits of peak brightness, DCI-P3 color gamut and 16 F-stops of dynamic range– without drawing more power than a standard display thanks to super-efficient Quantum Dots from Nanosys.

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Laptop Mag: ASUS ZenBook NX500 Eyes-On: Colorful 4K Display Amazes

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Laptop Mag: ASUS ZenBook NX500 Eyes-On: Colorful 4K Display Amazes

At Computex 2014, high-res displays are all the rage, with everyone from Gigabyte to MSI and Intel showing off laptops with higher-than-HD screens. ASUS’s 15.6-inch ZenBook NX500 laptop is one of the best we’ve seen, thanks not only to its industry-leading 4K display but to its incredibly vibrant color. We had a chance to spend a few minutes with the NX500 and were blown away by the brilliant images on its display.

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Engadget: ASUS Zenbook's Quantum Dot display is the "star of the show"

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Engadget: ASUS Zenbook's Quantum Dot display is the "star of the show"

ASUS Zenbook NX500 with 4K Quantum Dot display

As for the display -- the star of the show, really -- it covers 100 percent of the NTSC spectrum, along with 108 percent of Adobe RGB. Between the rich colors, sharp resolution and wide viewing angles, ASUS has cooked up one hell of a display. I'll reserve judgment for a full review, of course, but let's be real: it's pretty obviously a nice screen. I don't expect my opinion to change much, not even after more careful examination.

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Pocket-lint: ASUS Zenbook screen is the first in the world to use 3M's quantum dots technology

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Pocket-lint: ASUS Zenbook screen is the first in the world to use 3M's quantum dots technology

ASUS Zenbook NX500 with Quantum Dots from Nanosys and 3M

Asus has unveiled a whole stack of devices during its Computex 2014 press conference, including new Android tablets and the Transformer Book V, but it is perhaps the Zenbook NX500 that is attracting the most attention. The 15.6-inch laptop has a 4K UHD 3M QDEF touchscreen display.

Utilising Nvidia GeForce GTX 850M graphics, the screen is the first in the world to use 3M's quantum dots technology. Asus claims that not only does this increase resolution, but it enables an ultra-wide colour gamut of 100 per cent NTSC, 108 per cent Adobe RGB and 146 per cent sRGB.

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Nanocrystals in their prime

Research into nanocrystals has recently been translated into the production of commercial devices. In May 2011, the company Nanosys announced a product called the Quantum Dot Enhancement Film6. This is a thin layer of quantum dots that convert the blue light of a GaN light-emitting diode into bright colours and can be used in liquid-crystal displays. Furthermore, the Amazon Kindle uses quantum dot technology for enhanced definition.

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Quantum Dot light emitters will be big

According to a new research report published by Allied Market Research (Portland, OR), the global market for quantum dots (QDs) reached $316 million in 2013 and is expected to grow to $5.04 billion by 2020 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.9% in the period between 2014 and 2020.

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Advances in Displays: Quantum dot film lets LCDs express 50% more color

With Quantum Dot Enhancement Film, LCD makers now have an efficient mechanism for integrating quantum dots into their manufacturing processes.

After decades of research and development, the first liquid-crystal displays containing quantum dots (QDs)—molecule-sized spheres of semiconductor materials—are coming to market. These displays will have the ability to express as much as 50% more color than earlier LCDs, resulting in color performance approximately equal to or exceeding that offered by commercialized organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays.

LCD makers are exploring several technologies for integrating QDs into their manufacturing processes. 3M's Quantum Dot Enhancement Film (3M QDEF) is proving to be an efficient and durable mechanism.

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