SAN JOSE, CA -- The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has reached a new membership milestone, with more than 230 member companies on its roster. The developer of multiple video standards, VESA attributes much of this growth to the ongoing increase in adoption of the DisplayPort standard, with the new USB Type-C interface contributing to this rapid rise. Multiple products incorporating the USB-C interface have been introduced during the past year, and those that include video sources also incorporate the DisplayPort over USB-C™ protocol, formally known as the DisplayPort Alt Mode, either as an extended feature on the USB Type-C connector or included with Intel's Thunderbolt™ interface.
DisplayPort Alt Mode is the only alt mode natively supported by both standard USB-C connectors and cables. Devices supporting DisplayPort Alt Mode on a USB Type-C connector can connect to an existing DisplayPort device using a reversible USB Type-C to DisplayPort converter cable. Video source devices that support DisplayPort Alt Mode on a USB Type-C connector can also use an appropriate adapter to drive an HDMI, DVI or VGA display. All adaptors and converter cables comply with all USB Type-C characteristics, including reversible plug orientation.
According to Bill Lempesis, executive director of VESA, "DisplayPort's Alternate Mode USB-C extension, which we introduced in September 2014, delivers full DisplayPort audio/video performance (driving 4K and higher resolution), SuperSpeed USB data and up to 100 watts of power--all over a single cable. Consumer electronics manufacturers are just now ramping up the use of USB-C on their products, which further accelerates the adoption of DisplayPort as the A/V standard of choice for driving 4K and higher resolution from PCs on down to mobile devices."
Apple's latest 12-inch Macbook is the first notebook that incorporates USB Type-C as a video port, using the DisplayPort Alt Mode, as well as its power port. Other currently available products that utilize USB-C connectivity, with DisplayPort Alt Mode for A/V transport, include Google Chromebook Pixel, Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950XL, and Lenovo Yoga 900. More examples of consumer products incorporating USB-C with DisplayPort Alt Mode will be unveiled at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to be held January 6-9, 2016 in Las Vegas, N.V.
New specs broaden VESA's reach
VESA continues to expand in other ways, as well. The association is in the final stages of preparing two new specifications to be formally released in early Q1 2016:
•Display Stream Compression (DSC) 1.2 will expand upon the capabilities of DSC v1.1 and include enhancements for use in television, which will further enable the deployment of High Dynamic Range (HDR) and 8K screen resolution for video.
•DisplayPort 1.4 will be the first standard to take advantage of DSC 1.2. The use of video transport compression will enhance the ability to have both high-definition video and SuperSpeed USB, while facilitating HDR and 8K video across the USB-C connector.
In addition, VESA recently released Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) standard version 1.4b, making the standard production-ready for incorporation into integrated displays and personal electronic devices such as smart phones and tablets. By mid-2016, systems will begin to incorporate eDP v1.4b, and adoption of the standard should continue for several years.
Building the ecosystem
To continue meeting the needs of its growing membership base, VESA has expanded its DisplayPort Compliance Program. In the past year, VESA has added a full-time compliance manager, expanded compliance test development, and has held three DisplayPort PlugTest events well-attended by vendors of DisplayPort- and DisplayPort Alt Mode-enabled devices, including chips, systems, cables, adapters and docking accessories, as well as by test equipment vendors. VESA has also hosted three educational user workshops/seminars in Asia and exhibited DisplayPort demonstrations at various trade events this year.
At CES, a number of demos will be showcased in the VESA DisplayPort booth #20531 in the Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall, highlighting the benefits of DisplayPort for computing, digital displays and consumer electronics. These include:
•DisplayPort over USB-C – Many of the latest consumer products incorporating the new USB-C connector and DisplayPort over USB-C will be on display, enabling the delivery of 4K performance, SuperSpeed USB data and up to 100 watts of power in a single reversible plug.
•Adaptive-Sync – VESA's Adaptive-Sync addition to DisplayPort enhances gaming action through active frame rate control while also reducing system power and extending battery life.
•Display Stream Compression – DSC 1.1 will be demonstrated with compressed vs. uncompressed video side-by-side to showcase the visually lossless performance of this standard, which enables flexibility of transport, power savings, and resolutions beyond what is possible today.
•Panel Self-Refresh – Demonstrates a key capability of Embedded DisplayPort (eDP), which adds a separate frame buffer to the display panel and allows the host GPU / CPU to enter a low power state when a static display image is encountered--thereby reducing power and extending battery life.