BusinessExplaining QD-OLED, Samsung’s display tech that’s wowing CES

Explaining QD-OLED, Samsung’s display tech that’s wowing CES


Enlarge / Samsung Display makes use of a blue mild supply for its QD-OLED panels, saying it is the strongest.

Samsung Display

The Consumer Electronics Show, the nation’s largest tech exhibition, is at all times stuffed with thrilling new merchandise and ideas. But one in every of my favourite issues in regards to the present is the highlight it places on the rising applied sciences driving these product launches.

One piece of next-generation tech producing buzz at this yr’s CES is QD-OLED. A variation of OLED from Samsung Display, the expertise has made a splash via huge TV and PC monitor reveals. But what precisely is QD-OLED, how completely different is it from common OLED, and do we actually want one other acronym?

What is QD-OLED?

Samsung's 65-inch QD-OLED TV should be available this year.
Enlarge / Samsung’s 65-inch QD-OLED TV needs to be out there this yr.

QD-OLED stands for “quantum dot natural light-emitting diode.” The expertise comes from Samsung Display, which began teasing it in 2019 and is rumored to have began mass manufacturing in November. You may additionally see Samsung discuss with QD-OLED as “QD-Display.”

Whatever its branding, do not be fooled. This is not a brand-new expertise. It’s only a revamped model of OLED that provides the “widest vary of coloration expression among the many present display expertise,” Samsung Display claims. Samsung says its QD-OLED TVs can cowl 99.eight % of the DCI-P3 gamut, CNET stories. That’s very colourful, but it surely’s not past what we would count on of a premium OLED TV or monitor right this moment.

Long story quick, Samsung’s QD-OLED panel is meant to be like conventional OLED, which is thought for its spectacular distinction introduced on by wealthy, deep blacks, however with extra persistently vivid coloration throughout brightness ranges. Samsung claims its QD-OLED panels will ship extra particulars in highlighted areas, whereas customary OLED panels could look extra washed out and convey higher coloration to darker areas, so shadows aren’t overpowering. The firm additionally claims that the tech delivers superior viewing angles due to how quantum dots work (we’ll get to that).

Samsung Display points to QD-OLED boosting HDR, thanks to its ability to portray details in highlights and shadows.
Enlarge / Samsung Display factors to QD-OLED boosting HDR, due to its capability to painting particulars in highlights and shadows.

Samsung Display

QD-OLED can be a giant deal for observers of the OLED TV wars. LG Display makes the overwhelming majority of bigger OLED panels (like for TVs and displays) right this moment. Samsung, in the meantime, has supplied only one short-lived OLED TV and has been specializing in QLED, a extra colourful sort of LED that may’t substitute OLED, for its high-end TVs. QD-OLED represents a brand new panel possibility for OLED TV manufacturers, together with Samsung, LG, Vizio, Panasonic, Philips, and PC monitor distributors.


The distinction between QD-OLED and right this moment’s OLED is the usage of tiny semiconductor particles referred to as “quantum dots.” When struck by a sure frequency of sunshine, a quantum dot can emit mild. The coloration of that mild is determined by its wavelength, which is affected by the dimensions of the quantum dot, which ranges from 2–10 nm.

Differently sized quantum dots emit differently colored lights.

Differently sized quantum dots emit in a different way coloured lights.

Samsung Display

Again, bigger OLED shows principally come from LG Display. LG Display’s OLED panels use yellow and blue OLED supplies to emit a white mild. The mild is utilized to a filter with pink, inexperienced, and blue subpixels to create the numerous colours you see on-screen. Some newer OLED panels, significantly HDR TVs, add a white subpixel for further brightness, since OLEDs are usually dimmer than LED panels.

QD-OLED, alternatively, makes use of a blue OLED materials to generate its mild supply as a result of, Samsung Display says, blue “has the strongest mild vitality.” That mild goes via a layer of quantum dots to create what’s presupposed to be a better vary of colours. QD-OLED shows additionally use a TFT layer to manage the 2 layers.

Like traditional OLED, QD-OLED uses fewer layers, allowing for a thinner profile than LED displays.

Like conventional OLED, QD-OLED makes use of fewer layers, permitting for a thinner profile than LED shows.

Samsung Display

Why does Samsung add quantum dots to the equation? To get “exact colours at each distinction degree,” Samsung explains, thus avoiding a washed-out look. Samsung says quantum dots have a easy construction and use mild extra effectively, since mild is not partially eaten up by a filter. QD-OLED can be presupposed to struggle poor viewing angles, since quantum dots emit mild uniformly. According to CNET, Samsung Display will get its quantum dots from a “specialised provider.”

Don’t count on QD-OLED to be dramatically brighter than an LED display or perhaps a customary OLED display. Samsung Display claims {that a} full QD-OLED TV can hit as much as 200 nits full-screen or 1,000 nits with a 10 % patch, in keeping with CNET. CNET famous that it measured the LG C1 OLED TV at 800 nits with a 10 % patch, whereas an LED TV can attain 2,000 nits. Meanwhile, the QD-OLED PC monitor introduced at CES this week can hit 250 nits full-screen and as much as 1,000 nits. With high-end PC displays surpassing 1,400 nits, there is a clear drawback.

However, the power to spice up brightness in smaller patches might assist QD-OLED ship its claimed superior highlights. And excessive distinction and coloration (plus detailed highlights and shadows) can mitigate the downsides of a dimmer display. But we’ll must see QD-OLED in motion to know if it is sufficient of an improve.

Starting in Q2 2022, all of LG Display’s OLED TV panels will characteristic its new OLED EX expertise, which makes use of deuterium compounds and machine studying for as much as 30 % extra brightness than conventional OLED, the corporate says.

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