Canon and Toshiba Go Their Own Way In Flat Panels

New technology plus competition spawn another Asian alliance

3 min read

Well-heeled consumers around the globe are eagerly installing digital home theaters consisting of DVD players, jumbo TVs, and booming sound systems to match. To meet the soaring demand, Japanese manufacturers of large flat-panel screens are scrambling to form joint ventures around differing technologies. The link-ups allow allies to share technologies, production facilities, and investment costs. This consolidation makes it easier to compete with rivals both at home and in South Korea and Taiwan for a market forecast to be worth over US $6 billion in 2004, and to climb to $30 billion in 2007, according to market researcher iSupply/Stanford Resources in El Segundo, Calif.

The latest of these industry alliances involves Canon Inc. and Toshiba Corp., both in Tokyo. The companies announced in mid-September a joint venture to produce and market large flat-panel screens for TVs based on surface-conduction electron-emitter display (SED) technology [see photo, " New Entrant"]. This technology is a newcomer to the big-screen wars, which have been dominated by liquid-crystal displays (LCDs), followed by plasma displays and projection TVs using cathode ray tube (CRTs).

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Digging Into the New QD-OLED TVs

Formerly rival technologies have come together in Samsung displays

5 min read
Television screen displaying closeup of crystals

Sony's A95K televisions incorporate Samsung's new QD-OLED display technology.

Televisions and computer monitors with QD-OLED displays are now on store shelves. The image quality is—as expected—impressive, with amazing black levels, wide viewing angles, a broad color gamut, and high brightness. The products include:

All these products use display panels manufactured by Samsung but have their own unique display assembly, operating system, and electronics.

I took apart a 55-inch Samsung S95B to learn just how these new displays are put together (destroying it in the process). I found an extremely thin OLED backplane that generates blue light with an equally thin QD color-converting structure that completes the optical stack. I used a UV light source, a microscope, and a spectrometer to learn a lot about how these displays work.

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