Red Phosphor Powder Developments Spur Manufacturers Expansion in High Color Gamut TV

As Ultra High Definition (UHD) 4K2K TV continues to be a trendsetter in the market, TV manufacturers are hoping to develop high color gamut TV. Using quantum dot (QD) technology, Sony has successfully released high color gamut TV in 2013. Although, the product created a stir on the market, the high price tag and Cadium (Cd) containment have impacted the product’s acceptance in the European and U.S. market. TV brands that have achieved technological breakthroughs with Mn 4+ red phosphor powder are also planning to stimulate market purchases with NTSC 100% high color gamut TV.

The new generation high color gamut TVs are projected to debut in new flagship products in 2014. According to understanding, manufacturers new high color gamut products will be consisted of red phosphor and blue green phosphor powders combined with blue chips. The new products will reach 100% NTSC, and SRGB will also surpass 100%. The key to these technological breakthroughs will be Mn 4+ red phosphor powder.

According to manufacturers, the period Mn 4+ red phosphor powder is a IV-V group compound. The phosphor was applied in CCFL tubes in the past, but has the flaws of being heat, humidity and light sensitive. Although, the phosphor was first introduced in LED backlight, it failed reliability tests. Improvements made in the phosphor during LED manufacturing, have finally allowed the phosphor to deliver excellent performance in chromaticity coordinates under three wavelengths and increased brightness. U.S. manufacturer GE was the first to obtain Mn 4+ red phosphor patent, later Japanese LED manufacturer Nichia and Sharp received patent authorization from GE. 

As UHD 4K2K TV demands take off, manufacturers are also creating new products and market topics. After improvements in resolution, manufacturers are also increasing color saturation and contrast in new generation TVs, and targeting NTSC 100% and SRGB 100% specs. Sony has already launched high color gamut products using QD technology in 2013, but product prices remain high. Although, the Sony TV’s Cadmium containment is compliant to EU’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS), recycling and disposal process is still very complicated and has impacted its acceptance in U.S. and EU. The product’s yield rates have also affected its performance.

As TV manufacturers use a new generation of red phosphor powder to reach high color gamut in 2014, the industry will be focusing its attention on whether the cost/performance (C/P) and pricing strategy is better than QD technology; and whether it will successfully bring new demands to the already saturated large-sized LED TV market.

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