The Video Electronics Standard Association (VESA) has unveiled the long awaited DisplayPort Version1.2 digital display interface that brings with it a host of enhanced features. Aside from a doubled data rate of 21.6Gbps and bi-directional USB data transfer of an impressive 720Mbps, the upgrade also offers multi – monitor support from a single plug, improved audio synchronization and support for Full HD 3D Stereoscopic displays.
The extension to the existing industry standard doubles the 10.8Gbps data rate of the current Displayport v1.1a to 21.6Gbps, enabling greater quality resolution, color depths and refresh rates. This is achieved by the per-lane data rate for each of the four lanes doubling from 2.7Gbps to 5.4Gbps.
Displayport v1.2 boasts the ability to “multi-stream” – which allows multiple monitors to be connected in a daisy chain or hub configuration. This caters for a myriad of possible combinations, for example a single display can run with a resolution of up to 3840 x 2400 at 60Hz, or four monitors simultaneously at 1920 x 1200. The connection offers a 3D display of 2560 x 1600 at 120Hz as 3D would simultaneously use two streams.
Also catered for is bi-directional USB data transfer up to 720Mbps, enabling embedded webcams, speakers and USB hubs over the one cable, with Ethernet data also supported. While a PC will have to be v1.2 enabled, the new version is backward compatible. In terms of audio enhancements, Displayport v1.2 supports compressed audio such as DTS, Dolby Digital and Blu-ray formats, as well as multiple channels and video synchronization assistance. Also supported are Full HD 3D Stereoscopic displays, providing a full HD image at 120fps for each eye.
While similarities with HDMI exist – the ability to carry audio signals with video, slim cable, smaller connector free of pins – DirectPort is able to embed multiple signals over the same cable.
No time frame has been alluded to, however it is expected that manufacturers will begin to take advantage of the technology in the very near future.