On February 8, in his presentation entitled “Are Quantum Dots Closing the Window of Opportunity for OLED-TV?” at the SID Los Angeles Chapter’s One-Day Conference on Technologies for Advanced Television, held in Costa Mesa, CA, Seth Coe-Sullivan, co-founder and CTO of QD Vision, made a well-argued case that OLED-TV would become irrelevant in five years. At that time, conventional LCD-TVs with white-LED backlights will still be going strong, and LCD-TVs with quantum-dot-enhanced backlights using blue LEDs will have become be a major force.
Coe-Sullivan based his argument on the ability of quantum-dot-enhanced LCDs to provide better color gamut than OLEDs and to reduce power consumption, all at a minimal increase in cost. He systematically countered all but one of the arguments made in OLED’s favor.
Argument 1: OLED has response spead 1000 times that of LCD.
Argument 2: OLED has twice the viewing angle of LCD.
Argument 3: OLEDs will have a thickness 1/25 that of LCDs.
Argument 4: OLEDs will offer a 10x power efficiency increase.
Argument 5: OLEDs will offer a bill of materials (BoM) cost one half that of LCDs.
Argument 6: New OLED manufacturing processes will further reduce costs.
Argument 7: New OLED display modes will further increase the attractiveness and utility of displays.
Argument 8: OLED color gamut can be 50% greater than LCD.
The only argument for OLED-TVs that Coe-Sullivan acknowledged is their much greater contrast (in a dark room).
One of OLED’s problems is cost, which has kept market penetration low. Although not widely recognized by the general public, quantum dots appeared in major products in 2013: three models of Sony television (in the U.S.), which use QD Vision’s Color IQ rail, and, one of Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HDX models, which uses 3M’s quantum dot enhancement film (QDEF). Coe-Sullivan, 3M’s Erik Jostes, and Touch Display Research’s Jennifer Colegrove all predicted a rapid growth in design wins for quantum dots in 2014, with increasingly rapid growth coming in 2015 and following years.
That doesn’t mean that any of the other speakers at the conference — including 3M’s Jostes — echoed Coe-Sullivan’s position that OLED was fated for early extinction. The consensus is for a slow but steady increase in OLED-TV penetration. Market Intelligence company IHS has predicted a 3.9% penetration in panels for OLED-TV in 2018.
Ken Werner is the founder and principal of Nutmeg Consultants, and was the program chair and moderator for the one-day conference. You can reach him at email@example.com.
Posted by Ken Werner, February 19, 2014 2:26 PM
About Ken WernerKenneth I. Werner is the founder and Principal of Nutmeg Consultants, which specializes in the display industry, display technology, display manufacturing, and display applications. He serves as Marketing Consultant for Tannas Electronic Displays (Orange, California) and Senior Analyst for Insight Media. He is a founding co-editor of and regular contributor to Display Daily, and is a regular contributor to HDTVexpert.com and HDTV Magazine. He was the Editor of Information Display Magazine from 1987 to 2005.