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The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has announced proposed enhancements to the DisplayPort standard. The DisplayPort Task Group has proposed DisplayPort Version 1.1 for consideration by the VESA membership. The new version of the standard enhances design compatibility as well as adds copyright protection technology.

DisplayPort 1.1 adds capabilities to support high bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP) in addition to DisplayPort Content Protection (DPCP) and includes technical enhancements that enable PCI Express design compatibility in DisplayPort devices, a statement by the association claims.

HDCP version 1.3 for DisplayPort will be provided by the DCP LLC. This version, expected to be final in early 2007, allows products supporting DVI or HDMI and DisplayPort to share a common key set.

These changes improve DisplayPort’s integration capability within graphics processors and chipsets and improve interoperability with earlier digital interfaces. DisplayPort is designed to be a long term replacement for DVI, LVDS and eventually VGA in PCs. Compatibility with HDMI and DVI is also possible with DisplayPort products. An Interoperability Guideline providing recommendations for products supporting all three specifications is currently in development.

Task Group member companies proposing the new version include AMD/ATI Technologies, Dell, Genesis Microchip, HP, Intel, Lenovo, Nvidia and Samsung Electronics.

The DisplayPort is designed to enable a common interface approach across both internal and external display connections. Internal connections include display interfaces within a notebook PC or within an LCD display. External display connections include the interface between a source device such as a desktop PC, set-top box, DVD player or game console, and a display device such as a direct view flat panel or projection display for viewing video and graphics. The DisplayPort standard will also include an optional digital audio capability allowing streaming of high definition digital audio-video content over the interface, and provides performance scalability to enable the next generation of displays featuring higher color depths, refresh rates, and display resolutions.

DisplayPort incorporates a Main Link, a high-bandwidth, low-latency, unidirectional connection supporting isochronous stream transport. One stream video with associated audio is supported in Version.1.0, but DisplayPort is seamlessly extensible, enabling support of multiple video streams. Version 1.0 also includes an Auxiliary Channel to provide consistent-bandwidth, low-latency, bi-directional connectivity with Main Link management, and device control based on VESA’s E-DDC, E-EDID, DDC/CI and MCCS standards. The Link configuration enables true “Plug-and-Play”. The Main Link bandwidth enables data transfer at up to 10.8Gb/s using a total of four lanes.

The VESA DisplayPort Task Group is also working to complete a compliance and interoperability program for DisplayPort connectors, cables and devices to ensure functional compatibility between DisplayPort products.

DisplayPort version 2.0 – a planned upgrade to the specification that will increase capacity and add new features based on DisplayPort’s e micro-packet architecture while maintaining full backward compatibility with DisplayPort 1.1, is on deck for definition by the DisplayPort Task Group during 2007.

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