3 major TV brands, 1 Korean and 2 Chinese, and partners have formed the ‘QLED Alliance’. The move means that Samsung will allow other TV brands to use its QLED trademark to compete with OLED TVs.
Today, a “QLED TV” is a marketing term for an LCD TV but in the future it may represent an entirely new display technology built on quantum dots. Referring to LCD TVs as “QLED” is arguably premature but the strong momentum that the OLED technology is currently enjoying has forced Samsung’s hand.
Samsung owns the QLED TV trademark but as FlatpanelsHD reported at CES 2017, Samsung sees QLED as a term for a “category of quantum dot products” that even competitors can use – if Samsung agrees, that is.
The Korean manufacturer has now put action behind its words. Samsung has, together with China’s Hisense and TCL, formed the QLED Alliance. The news was announced in Beijing, China together with the China Electronics Chamber of Commerce (CECC).
Nanosys, one of the companies involved in quantum dot research, gave a talk on the history of the technology as well as the future roadmap that includes true QLED TVs, meaning non-LCD TVs that use quantum dots as the active element. It is referred to as “electro-emissive QLED” in the photo below.
No timeline for true QLED TVs
Nanosys did, however, not specify a timeline for when true QLED displays will be available in the market. Quantum dots can enhance current display technologies such as LCD and OLED by being implemented as a film or filter. That is how it is used today (in LCDs).
QLED was originally, before Samsung acquired QD Vision who held the QLED trademark, seen as an entirely new display technology. Correction: Samsung applied for the QLED trademark in the summer of 2016.
- “It is the most suitable material for making displays,” said Liu Junguang, Samsung’s VP of Visual Display Business. “2017 is going to be the year when the global TV manufacturers works together to promote the QLED TV market.”
At the event, Samsung, Hisense and TCL all exhibited LCD TVs that will be sold under the “QLED” moniker. Samsung has already launched its Q7, Q8, and Q9 models.