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Next-gen 'NanoLED' (real QLED) display prototype showcased

20 Jan 2023 | Rasmus Larsen |

In a closed room at CES, Nanosys demonstrated a real QLED display, meaning an electroluminescent quantum dots display. 'NanoLED' is the new trademark-protected name.

The current "QLED" TVs on the market are conventional LCD TVs that utilize a quantum dot layer to enhance color, but before it became a marketing term QLED was used to refer to a next-generation display technology.

At CES 2023, CNET's Geoffrey Morrison had an opportunity to see a prototype of the technology.

- "And there on one table, farthest from the door, was the 6-inch prototype I had come to see. A maze of wires connected it to multi-tiered circuit boards. It was impossibly flat, like a vibrantly glowing piece of paper. A gallery of colorful nature images cycled through on screen, the de-facto standard content for pre-production display demos," wrote Geoffrey Morrison. "It felt like I was staring at something from the future, because, basically, I was. It's so cutting-edge, Nanosys said I could only show a blurred image and couldn't take any video."


The 6-inch NanoLED display prototype. Photo: CNET

Henceforth, you shall be known as NanoLED

Since QLED is taken, Nanosys refers to it as 'NanoLED', which is perhaps not an ideal name as it makes you think of the unrelated miniLED and microLED. 'NanoLED' is also known as emissive quantum dot, electroluminescent quantum dot, QDEL, ELQD, QD-LED, EL-QLED and AMQLED. Today's displays that use quantum dots in some form are so-called photoluminescent meaning that the QDs absorb light and convert it (for example blue light converted into red or green, as in QD-OLED) whereas electroluminescent quantum dots convert electricity into light – no separate light emitting diodes required. It is a breakthrough display technology that could potentially improve picture quality, brightness and energy efficiency, and bring down manufacturing costs with inkjet printing. Nanosys refers to NanoLED as its "ultimate goal".


Top: QD-OLED. Middle: MicroLED. Bottom: NanoLED. Illustration: Nanosys

2025/26 at the earliest

The main challenge? Blue lifetime, again. To make it work in consumer displays, you need long-lasting quantum dots for red, green and blue, respectively. Nanosys is making progress on blue quantum dots but the company has previously said that NanoLED will not be ready until 2025/26 at the earliest. In 2017, China's BOE showcased the world's first real QLED displays. During CES 2023, Nanosys said that the one shown is "the world's first fully operational heavy metal free RGB emissive QD display. It’s a big milestone on the road to commercializing emissive QD". Nanosys did not reveal its manufacturing partner but Sharp has previously shown a working 6-inch NanoLED prototype with 540x960 resolution (176ppi), so... well... Samsung and TCL are also conducting research into NanoLED display technology and mass production. It remains a prototype for now but expect to hear more about this next-gen display technology – whatever it will end up being called – in the future. - Source: CNET, Nanosys, Sharp

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