VESA announces DisplayPort 2.0, steaming past HDMI 2.1

VESA announces DisplayPort 2.0, steaming past HDMI 2.1

When the HDMI 2.1 standard was announced, the question on the lips of tech enthusiasts was this; what will VESA’s response be? Now we know what their answer is, DisplayPort 2.0, a new standard which will offer more than a 2x increase in cable bandwidth and will likely arrive in late 2020.

Late 2020? That’s a bit too close, isn’t it? Yes, normally it would be, but DisplayPort 2.0 isn’t an entirely new standard, as it picks up a lot of what Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 standards laid down.

Under the hood, DisplayPort 2.0 is using the physical layer of Thunderbolt 3, enabling up to 80 Gbps of total bandwidth by utilising the standard in a unidirectional manner. Earlier this year, Intel released the Thunderbolt 3 standard to the industry as a royalty-free standard, enabling 3rd parties to not only implement Thunderbolt 3 into their products without paying Intel but allow 3rd parties to repurpose it to create other industry standards. Another example of a group repurposing Thunderbolt 3 is USB, who are using Thunderbolt to create USB4.

With this change, VESA is able to create a connectivity standard which can support 80Gbps of bandwidth and operate over a DisplayPort or USB Type-C connection, blasting past HDMI 2.1’s maximum bandwidth of 48Gbps. Thanks to VESA’s use of Thunderbolt 3, they will be able to catch up to HDMI a lot faster than expected.

Thankfully, DisplayPort 2.0 will retain backwards compatibility with existing DisplayPort standard, while some previously optional components of older DisplayPort standards will become mandatory with DisplayPort 2.0. Sadly, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support, better known by VESA as Adaptive-Sync, will remain as an optional feature, unlike with HDMI 2.0 displays.

Display Stream Compression (DSC) has become a mandatory part of DisplayPort 2.0, a feature which has only recently become part of DisplayPort 1.4 products, with AMD displaying the feature with their upcoming Navi graphics cards at E3. The feature enables “virtually lossless” image compression to save both power and bandwidth without introducing artefacts and significant latency. This tech enables 4K at 144Hz with no Chroma sub-sampling over DisplayPort 1.4. Mant DisplayPort 1.4 devices do not support DSC.

VESA announces DisplayPort 2.0, steaming past HDMI 2.1
In reality, DisplayPort 2.0 will offer 77.4 Gbps of total memory bandwidth, delivering 96.75% efficiency when compared to the link’s theoretical 80 Gbps of throughput. This makes DisplayPort 2.0 more efficient than today’s DisplayPort standards, which are only around 80% efficient.

VESA expects DisplayPort 2.0 devices to start arriving in late 2020, enabling 8K and higher resolutions without compression, higher levels of HDR with increased colour depth and a multitude of other display possibilities.

You can join the discussion on DisplayPort 2.0’s announcement on the OC3D Forums.