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EVGA, a leading supplier of graphics cards, this week said it had begun to sell USB graphics adapters (UGAs) for personal computers (PCs) that can be plugged directly to USB connectors and do not require any spare PCI Express or PCI slots. The new devices utilize technology from DisplayLink and may be useful for notebooks or small form-factor desktops that cannot be opened, but require additional display or displays.

“DisplayLink technology enables us to deliver a UGA that is affordable, portable, and easy to use, which dovetails perfectly with EVGA’s strategy of penetrating broader consumer markets. At the same time, we hope that the EVGA UV12 and UV16 will help bring DisplayLink’s exciting USB display technology to a wider mainstream audience,” said Joe Darwin, director of marketing for EVGA.

EVGA’s new UV Plus+ Family of products which consists of the UV12 and UV16 USB graphics adapters, are based on DisplayLink network display technology, enabling Windows XP and Vista users to quickly and easily connect multiple displays to a PC or notebook via simple USB connection. EVGA said that up to four displays can be connected to a single PC provided that four UGAs are used.

DisplayLink network display technology – which is already relatively well-known – is used by LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics to power monitors that come with USB or may come even with Ethernet connection. Specifically designed chips from DisplayLink can receive a compressed video stream via such interfaces as USB, Ethernet or WiMedia (a wireless data-transfer standard with a throughput up to 480Mbps), uncompress it into video with a resolution up to 1400x1050 (DL-120/EVGA UV12) or 1600x1200 (DL-160/EVGA UV16) and in full 24-bit color, and output it in RGB (for an analog connection to a monitor) or LVDS (for a digital connection) formats.

According to DisplayLink, the network monitor technology supports Windows Vista Aero interface, which requires 3D graphics acceleration, even though the company admits that “there may be interoperability issues with some graphics cards”; in addition, DisplayLink supports video playback.

The EVGA UV12 and UV16 adapters will have an expected street price of “well below $100. Both adapters are now available through EVGA’s network of E-tailers, retailers, systems integrators and distributors.

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