Refreshed DisplayPort Interface Coming to Tablets and All-in-Ones by 2012


The DisplayPort standard has been evolving by leaps and bounds as more hardware manufacturers adopt its standard in both embedded devices as well as for connectors.

Yesterday, Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), the organization behind several display interfaces, has refreshed the DisplayPort Embedded standard, also known as eDP for short.

eDP is primarily geared towards embedded applications, most notably in very thin displays. As displays get thinner and more power saving, things like eDP will become more attractive. The benefits of eDP have been detailed in the past, including stuff like less wires needed to transmit a higher bandwidth signal while still consuming less power than Low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) technology.

eDP’s version number has been bumped to 1.3. The updated standard now includes a new Panel Self-Refresh feature that was developed to save system power and further extend battery life in portable PC systems. This was detailed to us during CES when we visited the DisplayPort booth at CES.

It enabled a Sony laptop to increase battery while still maintaining the same weight and an even thinner profile. The new specification also details how to utilize the 5.4Gb/s DisplayPort main link data rate, also known as HBR2 (High Bit Rate 2).

eDP v1.3 is now available for purchase from VESA and is provided free of charge to VESA member companies. Mobile devices utilizing the new panel self-refresh feature are expected to become available for purchase as soon as 2012. These will usher in a new age of higher resolution, thinner and lighter laptops and tablets that will only begin to better the digital entertainment experience.

eDP can be seen as a mobile standard, but in reality its benefits are easily utilized across the computing spectrum and as such will not only improve mobile computing, but almost any type of computing that uses a display today. We might even see an eDP in some embedded computers that are integrated into displays, such as all-in-ones. As stated in the past, all of the obvious benefits of eDP have driven many people to expect eDP to replace LVDS in the coming years.

Last December, Intel and AMD announced that in the next three years the two companies would no longer support LVDS, but rather focus on lower power digital signal interfaces like eDP. As a result of this announcement, vendors like Dell, Lenovo, LG, Phillips and Samsung have promised to follow the same timeframe of phasing out LVDS. The slow but gradual shift away from LVDS will benefit consumers in ways that they are not likely to see, but yet again will help manufacturers create higher quality products at lower prices.

Overall, these announcements are ones that we expected VESA to be making regarding DisplayPort. We’re glad to see that VESA is constantly improving as the technology develops, making sure there are no weak links in the chain (like LVDS). We look forward to hearing more developments regarding DisplayPort in the future and expect to see more adoption as 2011 and 2012 roll by.

Source: VESA