Ultra HD displays are quickly becoming the norm in high-end tech products with displays, and the technology is even poised to become more affordable in the near future. Most of these high-resolution displays will be similar to current high-definition LCD displays, but manufacturers are courting several new technologies that that may outperform current displays in the future.
One of these these promising display technologies is dubbed quantum dot. Similar to OLED, the technology involves nanocrystal semiconductors that emit colors based on their size. The technology promises to rival OLED displays and could possibly be more useful in the flexible displays that manufacturers have been experimenting with.
A new report from research firm NPD DisplaySearch holds that LCD display manufacturers are beginning to research quantum dot technology in earnest. The hope is that such displays may have a better color performance than other display technologies on the market.
Currently display manufacturers are wrestling with the increased costs of quantum dot displays. The costs incurred by the technology currently balloon for larger display sizes, meaning that more smartphones and tablets are likely to be shipped with quantum dot displays in the near future. The cost of the technology is also high compared to other, more widely-manufactured technologies.
Another concern is that quantum dot technology contains cadmium selenide nanocrystals. Many countries have laws limiting the use of cadmium in consumer products. Researchers are currently working on quantum dot displays that do not use cadmium.
Even with these concerns, DisplaySeearch estimates that around 9% of LCD TV displays will use quantum dot technology by the year 2020. This compares to the less than 1% that will use the technology in 2015.
“Display makers have shown interest in adopting quantum dot technology, but they have been concerned about heavy metals and higher prices,” Yoonsung Chung, general manager of DisplaySearch Korea. “Recently, however, the European Union has offered a temporary exemption for the use of cadmium-containing quantum dots in displays. Cadmium-free quantum dot materials have also become available, so display manufacturers are taking a fresh look.”
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