A new version of the IT-centric DisplayPort digital connection was recently announced by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), bringing three times the bandwidth of the prior version and enabling higher resolution levels and refresh rates, exceeding 8K.

The new VESA-standard DisplayPort 2.0 is linked with the Thunderbolt 3 port and will support current and future video resolution levels including: 8k, 10K and 16K. The association said it expects the first products equipped with DisplayPort 2.0 ports to reach market by late next year.

The DisplayPort standard was developed by the multi-industry VESA open standards body. The Association has more than 280 member companies, including many IT and consumer electronics manufacturers. Thus far, DisplayPort has been adopted for use primarily in the IT community. Consumer electronics manufacturers have instead used the rival HDMI standard, which is now widely used in both current and legacy consumer TV and AV products.

However, DisplayPort has been popular with PC gamers and it’s possible that will lead to the adoption of DP 2.0 in some premium DP consumer 4K and 8K video displays in the future, as manufacturers put more and more emphasis on delivering televisions with advanced gaming modes and lower lag times.

DisplayPort 2.0 is positioned as an alternative to the just emerging HDMI 2.1 standard, which tops out at 48 Gbps bandwidth.

In comparison, DisplayPort 2.0 will bring 3x the bandwidth of the prior DisplayPort 1.4a standard (which supports up to 25.92 Gbps), according to VESA, with the maximum effective bandwidth of 77.4 Gbps. It marks the first major update to the DisplayPort standard since March 2016, VESA said.

In addition to beyond 8K resolution, other newly supported capabilities available through the stadard include: “higher refresh rates and high dynamic range (HDR) support at higher resolutions, improved support for multiple display configurations, as well as improved user experience with augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) displays, including support for 4K-and-beyond VR resolutions,” according to the VESA website.

VESA said the “new data rates of DisplayPort 2.0 come with a display stream data mapping protocol common to both single-stream transport and multi-stream transport. This common mapping further facilitates multi-stream transport support of DisplayPort 2.0 devices for a single DP port on the source device to drive multiple displays either via a docking station or daisy-chainable displays.”

It will be the first digital connection supporting up to 8K/60 (with 4:4:4)
including with 30 bits per pixel (bpp) for HDR10 support.

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Among other listed examples of supported high-resolution video streams are 10K60 at 24-bit (with 4:4:4) and 16K60 at 30-bit (with 4:4:4) with HDR. This is achieved using Display Stream Compression (DSC), which is a “visually lossless” codec that can be used over the interface to drive up to two 8K displays at 120Hz. In addition, system will support even higher refresh rates for 4K and 1080p resolution levels.

In using Intel’s physical layer Thunderbolt 3 port, DisplayPort 2.0 will be backward compatible with previous versions. It will also be supported over USB-C, which carries the audio/video signal through DisplayPort Alt Mode, but with some limitations in bandwidth. DisplayPort 2.0 also incorporates all of the key features of DP 1.4a, VESA said.

“DP 2.0 offers differentiated end-to-end user experiences, across a multitude of market segments, such as productivity and gaming, as well as wider end-to-end interoperability with various connectivity options. It sets a new paradigm for display interface specifications by providing scalability from power-efficient small form-factor displays, to high-resolution and high-refresh-rate large form-factor displays,” said Syed Athar Hussain, VESA Board Vice Chairman and Display Domain Senior Fellow, AMD.

By Greg Tarr

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