Apple Looks to Improve Displays with Research on Quantum Dot Technology


Apple has filed for a United States patent detailing a quantum dot-enhanced liquid crystal display with a dichroic filter that can provide a greater accuracy of colors over traditional displays, reports AppleInsider. Similar technology is currently being used by Amazon in the Kindle Fire HDX 7, which significantly outperforms that of the Retina iPad mini with regard to color gamut and accuracy.

The patent describes quantum dots as being similar in shape to traditional nanocrystals found in regular displays, but can also change sizes in order to emit light of different colors more effectively. For instance, bigger quantum dots can emit a longer wavelength light color such as red, while small quantum dots can emit shorter wavelength light should as blue light or violet light. This results in the quantum dots being able to cover a wider and more varied color spectrum compared to current LEDs, which can only emit light in a fixed spectrum.

As one example, Quantum dots (QDs) are semiconductors in the form of nanocrystals that provide an alternative display. The electronic characteristics of the QDs are generally governed by the size and shape of the nanocrystals. Quantum dots of the same material, but with different sizes, can emit light of different colors when excited. More specifically, the emission wavelength of the QDs varies with a size and shape of the quantum dots. As one example, larger dots may emit longer wavelength light, such as red light while smaller QDs may emit shorter wavelength light, such as blue light or violet light.

Apple goes on to note that one of the issues with quantum dots is the toxic nature of their contents, going on to suggest that cadmium-free quantum dots or heavy metal-free quantum dots could be used in order to alleviate the problem. The patent also suggests that there "remains a need" for designing the quantum-dot enhanced display to achieve more breakthroughs before it becomes ready for general use, including reduced toxicity, improved performance, and lower cost in fabrication.

Meanwhile, the dichroic filter that would be deployed on the quantum dot display would help reduce the density and toxic content of the quantum dots, and would also improve color and luminance levels, resulting in a more vibrant and accurate display. The filter itself would help in transmitting red light and a green light while reflecting most of a blue light, so that white light can be produced and ultimately benefit color accuracy as a whole.

It is not known exactly if or when Apple plans to integrate quantum dot enhanced displays in its products, but the company would have incentive to do so given criticisms of the Retina iPad mini display compared to Google's and Amazon's 7-inch tablets. Beyond mobile devices, quantum dot displays may also make their way to notebook computers, televisions and other consumer electronics over time.

Tag: patent

Top Rated Comments

cmChimera Avatar
93 months ago

Apple patents something that Amazon is essentially already using.

It's time for a patent law update.

Armchair lawyer can't read.

It's time for an education system update.

See how that works?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
newagemac Avatar
93 months ago

Apple patents something that Amazon is essentially already using.

It's time for a patent law update.

Your reply doesn't make any sense at all. This is EXACTLY what the patent system is set up for. Apple came up with a different way of accomplishing the same thing and applied for a patent for their particular method. That's how the patent system is supposed to work and that's how progress happens.

I don't think you understand how the patent system works. Every time someone posts something like that, they are doing nothing but making themselves look ignorant.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
osx11 Avatar
93 months ago
Apple patents something that Amazon is essentially already using.

It's time for a patent law update.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fredfnord Avatar
93 months ago

Apple patents something that Amazon is essentially already using.

It's time for a patent law update.

While you're at it, why not complain about the new patents for the new antibiotic class that is in trials right now? After all, penicillin is also something that currently exists.

It's time for people who have literally no idea whatsoever about whether a given patent has any merit to either go do the actual research in order that they at least have an informed layman's point of view, or to just shut up. Otherwise we are firmly into the territory where any speculation can be treated as fact as long as it is stated cynically enough. In which case my position becomes 'you should stop stressing out about patent law and start worrying about your finals, or you might be forced to repeat tenth grade. Again.'
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JacinTatt Avatar
93 months ago

Well if you know so much about this then tell us the difference between Amazon's technology and this patent!

Ok, I understand now. You read the first two sentences and then made your post without reading the rest. If you actually read the article, your question will get answered.

I really really dislike ill-informed people touting their ridiculous ideas and opinions as fact. I'll bet you saw the word "quantum" and decided you wouldn't fully understand anyway.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
93 months ago

apple patents something that amazon is essentially already using.

It's time for a patent law update.


…quantum dot-enhanced liquid crystal display with a dichroic filter

meanwhile, the dichroic filter that would be deployed on the quantum dot display would help reduce the density and toxic content of the quantum dots, and would also improve color and luminance levels, resulting in a more vibrant and accurate display.

They made a better one.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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