VESA announces DisplayPort 2.1 specification to align with USB4

VESA has announced the latest version of the DisplayPort specification, DisplayPort 2.1, as a replacement and successor for DisplayPort 2.0, which is still fairly recent. However. DisplayPort 2.1 doesn’t render the previous version outdated, and in fact, VESA says that every device certified for DisplayPort 2.0 is already certified for the newer version.

That’s partly because DisplayPort 2.1 isn’t really about increasing the data rate of the DisplayPort connections, and it focuses more so on robustness and – perhaps more importantly – convergence with USB4. Indeed, one of the big goals of this release is to improve the way the DisplayPort signal works when tunneled through a USB4 link using a USB Type-C port. That includes making it more efficient to channel a DisplayPort signal while data is also being transmitted through the USB4 link, on top of the already mandated support for Display Stream Compression (DSC) and Panel Replay, which help reduce the required bandwidth to power a display.

A closer integration between USB4 and DisplayPort should make it easier for these technologies to be developed and adopted together, bringing the collective capabilities of the two technologies to more devices. Recently, the USB Implementers Forum announced it would soon be introducing the USB4 version 2.0 specification including support for the latest version of DisplayPort, which seems to align perfectly with today’s announcement.

In addition to this, VESA has also made some improvements to the DisplayPort cable specification so that they offer more robust performance. Cables certified for DP40 – supporting the UHBR10 link rate and up to 40Gbps of bandwidth in total – can now go beyond two meters in length, while cables certified for DP80 (supporting UHBR20 and 80Gbps of bandwidth) can go beyond one meter in length. Of course, that means you shouldn’t experience any signal degradation for cables that long, as long as they’re properly certified. This applies to both full-size DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort connections.

Since DisplayPort 2.1 doesn’t exactly introduce new capabilities, you don’t need to worry about new hardware being rolled out with support for it. If you have something that supports DisplayPort 2.0, you’re already set. Of course, if you’re interested in one of these longer cables, you might want to keep an eye out for new models coming out in the future.

Source: VESA

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