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DisplayPort 1.2 launched at last

Bandwidth doubled

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The Video Electronics Standards Association (Vesa) clearly just missed finishing off the DisplayPort 1.2 specification in time for the Consumer Electronics Show at the beginning of the month, because it's launched the spec a mere ten days afterward.

That said, DP 1.2's key features had already been well telegraphed: primarily a doubling of the bandwidth to 21.6Gb/s - 5.4Gb/s per lane - which gives the standard room to support higher resolutions, greater colour depths, faster refresh rates and more rapidly alternating - 120f/s per eye - stereoscopic 3D images.

For a single display, this enables up to 3840 x 2400 resolution at 60Hz, or a 120Hz 3D display at 2560 x 1600.

DP 1.2 also introduces one-connector, multiple-monitors support - again, a result of all that extra bandwidth - and USB-over-DP signal routing, which runs over an auxiliary channel at speeds of up to 720Mb/s. As with previous versions of the standard, Ethernet data can also be sent down this AUX channel.

The new spec is backwards compatible with DisplayPort 1.1 kit, though of course minus the new benefits. As we noted previously, Apple's Mini DisplayPort connector is now part of the spec too.

DP 1.2 also adds new audio enhancements including audio copy protection; support for HD audio formats such as Dolby MAT, DTS HD, all Blu-Ray formats, and the DRA standard from China; synchronisation between audio and video; and multiple audio channels.

DisplayPort licensees can now get on with implementing the specification in future products - which should debut by the end of the year. ®

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