BOE Technology Shows First Working Emissive QLED Screens at DisplayWeek 2017

BOE Electroluminescent QLED

Per a report from OLED.net, Chinese tech company BOE Technology Group has shown the first examples of a fully functional electroluminescent emissive QLED displays in the form of a flat panel TV and phone. The company demoed both screens at DisplayWeek 2017.

Electroluminescent QLED is an emissive technology, like OLED and plasma before it. That means each sub-pixel generates its own light—instead of relying on a backlight—and is able to shut off completely. This results in ultra-deep black levels as well as an ability to display extremely sharp contrast transitions such as individual stars in a starfield without blooming and halo artifacts.

The demonstration of a functional electroluminescent QLED is tremendous news for AV enthusiasts who are eagerly awaiting the next generation of flat panel TV technology. This flavor of QLED promises the same “infinite” contrast as OLED while offering (theoretical) advantages in terms of longevity, color gamut, and peak luminance.

The last time I saw electroluminescent QLED technology at work, it was just a glowing one inch white square and practical applications of the technology were years away. Now, we’ve got working color displays to factor into the timeline.

A representative from BOE told OLED.net that “QLED display improves its reliability by using inorganic matters for existing OLED structure instead of organic matters, featuring better color gamut than OLED. 100% inkjet printing-based QLED is better in terms of manufacturing cost saving and large scale, compared to deposition-based OLED.”

Notably, BOE used inkjet technology to produce these panels, which is supposed to have long term advantages in terms of cost and manufacturing scale versus the deposition method currently used to create OLED panels.

The two displays shown include a 5″ phone screen with 320 x 240 pixel resolution and a 14″ flat panel with 960 x 540 resolution. The takeaway here is that although these are fairly low resolutions, there is enough pixel density for flat panel display applications because that 960 x 540 14″ panel scales up to 1080p at 28″ and 2160p at 55″.

Last year, when I toured the Nanosys quantum dot fabrication facility in Silicon Valley and saw that glowing white electroluminescent QLED square, the chatter was about how displays featuring the technology could appear before the decade is over.

There is no indication in the article whether this technology demonstration from Display Week means we will see electroluminescent QLED in a consumer display in three years or less. But, it’s such a big leap forward from a single glowing white square that there is hope we’ll see something appear soon. Indeed, in consideration of this news, I’ll be sorely disappointed if I don’t see it working emissive QLED prototype at CES 2018.