OLED displays are made from organic emitter materials - and are gaining in popularity as these next-generation displays offer excellent image quality and novel form factors.
Quantum Dots are tiny particles that have excellent photonic emission properties - and are used widely today in many LCD displays as the QD photoluminescence features enable the conversion of blue LED light to red and green light to create full-color displays that are better than white-backlit LCDs. QD particles can also be used to create emissive displays, in which the QDs themselves emit the light - read more about QD displays here.
QD-OLED - hybrid OLED and QD displays
QD-OLED displays are hybrid displays that use a combinattion of OLED emitters with QD color conversion layers and/or QD emitters.
Samsung's QD Displays use blue OLED emitters and quantum-dots that convert the blue light to red and green light. Samsung's so-called QD-OLED displays have been in development for many years. Samsung Display aims to start QD-OLED panel production towards the end of 2021, and Samsung Electronics will reportedly launch the first QD-OLED products in early 2022.
In its first-gen QD-OLED display, Samsung is using a fluorescent blue emitter (will hopefully change to a higher efficiency one in later generations) and ink-jet printed QDs.
In March 2019 it was unveiled that China-based display maker TCL is developing a new hybrid display technology that uses a blue OLED emitter coupled with red and green QD emitters. All three emitter materials will be combined and printed using ink-jet printing technology. TCL calls this technology H-QLED and this could prove to be the technology of choice for TCL's future high-end emissive TV displays. For more information on TCL's H-QLED, click here.
The latest QD OLED news:
Samsung Display demonstrated many OLED technologies at Display Week 2023, which we'll detail below. It seems that the main new technology was the Sensor OLED Display, which is an OLED with an embedded sensor that can perform fingerprint sensing in addition to blood pressure, heart rate sensing and stress level sensing (all from reading the finger), which the company says is the first such display in the world.
The Sensor OLED Display embeds light-sensing organic photodiodes (OPDs) inside the display itself, which allows it to perform the sensing functions all over the display. Samsung explains that as OLED light is reflected differently depending on the contraction and relaxation of the blood vessels inside the finger, the OPD senses the light when it returns to the panel, and converts it into health information.
LG Display has been negotiating a WOLED TV panel supply agreement with Samsung Electronics for a long time, and last year the company were close to an agreement, but discussions were halted in July 2022, and Samsung continued to launch its QD-OLED TV range. Last month it was reported that the two Korean companies are in talks again, and now Reuters says that LG and Samsung finally officially signed the supply agreement.
According to Reuters, LGD will start supplying panels to Samsung as early as this quarter (i.e. by the end of June 2023). Samsung agreed to order 2 million WOLED TV panels from LG in 2024, and this will grow to 3 million in 2025 and 5 million in 2026. The first panels will be 77-inch and 83-inch in size, but LG is likely to also supply smaller panels to Samsung.
Omdia released its latest IT OLED display forecasts, with some interesting projections.
The company sees very nice growth ahead for OLED displays in the IT market, with shipments rising from around 9.7 million units in 2022 to over 70 million units in 2028. Most of the growth will come from adoption in laptops, but tablet adoption will also increase sharply.
Review web site Rtings.com has performed an extensive accelerated longevity test for over three months, testing the latest QD-OLED and WOLED TVs.y
Rtings reports that both QD-OLED displays (Samsung S95B OLED and the Sony A95K) showed signs of image retention, and it seems in general that the QD-OLED displays suffer from worse problems compared to LG's WOLED. Some of Sony's WOLED TVs also showed signs of image retention.
Last month Samsung announced its S95C QD-OLED TV, and now the company starts accepting orders for its 77" model - for $4,500. The TVs will ship on March 6.
The S95C offers a 4K resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, Tizen 7 OS, Dolby Atmos, Gaming Hub and an external connector box (One Connect). The peak brightness is "over" 2,000 nits. It will be available in 55", 65" and 77".
Samsung Electronics reported its financial results for Q4 2022, with revenues of $57.3 billion, and an operating profit of $3.5 billion.
Samsung says that the "business environment deteriorated significantly in the fourth quarter due to weak demand amid a global economic slowdown". SDC's mobile AMOLED panel business earning declined, as demand for smartphones fell, but its large-area panel business seen a smaller loss as it is increasing sales of QD-OLED panels.
UBI Research says that Samsung Display has decided to increase its QD-OLED production capacity, from 30,000 monthly substrate to 45,000 - that's a 50% increase - by 2024.
UBI also says that Samsung has updated its QD-OLED material stack (now called QM2), with an upgraded ETL green layer, and has started to recycle the waste materials in its production process.
Omdia posted an interesting market analysis, saying that Samsung Display is looking to increase its OLED TV market share, and will push QD-OLED TV shipments strong in 2023. SDC will increase shipments by 141% in 2023, and will continue to increase production.
Samsung's production increase will be met by an increased number of suppliers - not just Samsung and Sony as in 2022, but other companies will start offering QD-OLED TVs (Philips, TCL and Sharp).
Update: TCL says it issued that statement by mistake, and it has no current plans to ship a QD-OLED TV in 2023
TCL announced that it is set to launch its first QD-OLED TV in the coming months. If all goes according to plan, TCL will be the third company (following Samsung and Sony) to offer QD-OLED TVs.
That's the only information we have so far. The TV will likely be offered in 55-inch, 65-inch and/or 77-inch sizes (the available QD-OLED panels today) with a 4K resolution and a refresh rate of 144Hz. That's the current QD-OLED standard.
Samsung announced that it is set to start producing several new QD-OLED panels and products in 2023. In addition to the current 34-inch, 55-inch and 65-inch panels, it will also offer a 49-inch 240Hz ultra-wide 5120x1440 QD-OLED for gaming monitors, and a 77-inch TV panel.
Samsung will adopt the new 49-inch ultra-wide QD-OLED panel in its upcoming Odyssey OLED G9 monitor. We already knew Samsung has finished developing this panel back in November when MSI unveiled their own QD-OLED monitor project. The 77-inch panel was also unveiled before.