DisplayPort 2.0 Standard Announced, Touts 8K Support

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has announced the release of the DisplayPort 2.0 A/V standard, the first major update to DisplayPort (DP) since early 2016.  DisplayPort 2.0 is compatible with existing DP connectors commonly found on high-end desktop PCs as well as with USB-C connector using DP Alt Mode. Users will need a DP 2.0-equipped system to take advantage of the standard’s performance improvements.

DisplayPort 2.0 looks to move US broadcasters firmly into the realm of 8K video support by offering three times the bandwidth as the current standard (DP 1.4a). DP 2.0 retains the four data lanes found in the current incarnation, but increases the link rate to 20Gbps per lane with 128-bit/132-bit channel coding.  It takes advantage of the Thunderbolt 3.0 physical layer capabilities while maintaining existing DP protocol flexibility.

Supported Formats: DisplayPort 2.0 Connector

According to VESA, DisplayPort 2.0 will support the following display configurations, giving users several options for high-resolution, HDR performance at high refresh rates:

Single-display configurations:

  • One 16K (15,360×8,460) display @60Hz and 30 bits per pixel (bpp) 4:4:4 HDR (with Display Stream Compression, or DSC)

  • One 10K (10,240×4,320) display @60Hz and 24 bpp 4:4:4 (no compression)

  • One 8K (7,680x4,320) display @60 Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 

Dual-display configurations:

  • Two 8K (7,680×4,320) displays @120Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)

  • Two 4K (3840×2160) displays @144Hz and 24 bpp 4:4:4 (no compression)

Triple-display configurations:

  • Three 10K (10,240×4,320) displays @60Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)

  • Three 4K (3,840×2,160) displays @90Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (no compression)

Supported Formats: DisplayPort Alt Mode via USB-C Connector

The DisplayPort 2.0 standard is also available using USB-C connectors via DP Alt Mode, though this results in the data lanes being split into two pairs: one for video and one for standard I/O.  This cuts the video bandwidth to 38.7Gbps, resulting in the following supported configurations:

Single-display configurations:

  • One 8K (7,680×4,320) display @30Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (no compression)

Dual-display configurations:

  • Two 4Kx4K (4,096×4,096) displays (for AR/VR headsets) @120Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)

Triple-display configurations:

  • Three 4K (3,840×2,160) displays @144Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)

  • Three QHD (2,560×1,440) @120Hz and 24 bpp 4:4:4 (no compression)

DisplayPort Alt Mode via USB-C is more limited than using the dedicated DP connector, but considering that very few US broadcasters currently offer 4K video, the ability to support 4K and 8K displays over this common interface is a significant technical improvement and lays the groundwork to support UHD broadcast options in the future.

What remains to be seen is how desktop and laptop developers will implement DisplayPort 2.0 technology and whether it will beat out the familiar HDMI interface found on many consumer devices. Intel has publicly boasted of its contribution to the Thunderbolt 3.0 standard to support DP 2.0, so it’s likely that the new standard will be supported in Intel Core CPU-equipped systems.

Consumers can expect to see systems equipped with DisplayPort 2.0 hit the market in late 2020.

For more information on this announcement and the technical specifics, check out coverage by PCWorld and Slashdot. If you have questions about video formats, associated protocols, and which solutions are best for your facility, reach out to Nodal!