VESA’s enabling DisplayPort 2.0 over USB4 using DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0

VESA's enabling DisplayPort 2.0 over USB4 using DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0

VESA’s enabling DisplayPort 2.0 over USB4 using DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0

When the HDMI 2.1 standard was announced, the question on the lips of tech enthusiasts was this; what will VESA’s response be? In June 2019, we got our answer, DisplayPort 2.0. 

DisplayPort 2.0 is due to arrive in late 2020 or early 2021, thanks to the fact that DisplayPort 2.0 isn’t an entirely new standard. DisplayPort 2.0 takes up a lot of what Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 standard laid down, giving the standard access to 80Gbps speeds. 

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. 

So, does this mean that Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort 2.0 and USB4 are the same? No, but they are close enough to enable some form of interoperability. That’s where VESA’s newly announced DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0 spec comes into play. 
 
Using DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0, USB4 Type-C connectors can be used to transmit 80Gbps of DisplayPort Video data or 40Gbps of DisplayPort Video data concurrently with 40Gbps of SuperSpeed USB data delivery. 

VESA expects the first devices incorporating DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0 to appear on the market in 2021. This standard will prove useful for future VR headsets and other devices which require both high-speed data/video transfers concurrently.  

With DisplayPort 2.0, 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.  
   

VESA's enabling DisplayPort 2.0 over USB4 using DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0  

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