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DisplayPort to incorporate USB

One cable, multiple roles

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CES DisplayPort, the would-be replacement for VGA and DVI, and a rival to HDMI, will gain the ability to host USB traffic, the Vesa standards organisation said revealed today.

The current version of the DisplayPort specification, 1.1, embeds an auxilliary channel for data exchange between host computer and monitor. It's used to activate a sleeping screen when the computer starts up, for example.

Vesa DisplayPort Task Group chief Bruce Montag said that his team is working on enhancing the bandwidth to allow the auxilliary channel to carry USB traffic. The upshot: a single DisplayPort cable capable of feeding the screen with pictures and sound and passing through data from USB devices plugged into ports on the screen.

Montag didn't say how much total bandwidth would be available to USB, but he said the team was targetting 480Mb/s USB 2.0 devices.

The Task Group is also developing a mini-connector, intended to allow handheld devices such as UMPCs and Mobile Internet Devices – like these - drive external displays.

A scheme to allow a single connector drive multiple monitors is also on the developers' agenda.

DisplayPort is designed to supersede not only old VGA connectors and more recent DVI ports but also the LVDS links used to connect laptop displays to graphics circuitry. The tecnology's very much computer-oriented, unlike HDMI, which is aimed rgets consumer electronics applications.

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