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The evolution of Displayport
Aug 07, 2017

DisplayPort is a digital display interface developed by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA). The interface is primarily used to connect a video source to a display device such as a computer monitor, though it can also be used to carry audioUSB, and other forms of data

1.0 to 1.1

The first version, 1.0, was approved by VESA on 3 May 2006.[7] Version 1.1a was ratified on 2 April 2007.[8]

DisplayPort 1.1a allows a maximum of 8.64 Gbit/s data rate over a 2-meter cable.[9][10] DisplayPort 1.1 allows devices to implement alternative link layers such as fiber optic, allowing a much longer reach between source and display without signal degradation,[11] although alternative implementations are not standardized. It also includes HDCP in addition to DisplayPort Content Protection (DPCP). The DisplayPort 1.1a specification can be downloaded for free from the VESA website.[9]


DisplayPort version 1.2 was approved on 22 December 2009. The most significant improvement of the new version is the doubling of the effective bandwidth to 17.28 Gbit/s in High Bit Rate 2 (HBR2) mode, which allows increased resolutions, higher refresh rates, and greater color depth. Other improvements include multiple independent video streams (daisy-chain connection with multiple monitors) called Multi-Stream Transport, facilities for stereoscopic 3D, increased AUX channel bandwidth (from 1 Mbit/s to 720 Mbit/s), more color spaces including xvYCCscRGB and Adobe RGB 1998, and Global Time Code (GTC) for sub 1 µs audio/video synchronisation. Also Apple Inc.'s Mini DisplayPort connector, which is much smaller and designed for laptop computers and other small devices, is compatible with the new standard.[2][12][13][14]


DisplayPort version 1.2a may optionally include VESA's Adaptive Sync.[15] AMD's FreeSync utilizes the DisplayPort Adaptive-Sync feature for operation. FreeSync was first demonstrated at CES 2014 on a Toshiba Satellite laptop by making use of the Panel-Self-Refresh (PSR) feature from the Embedded DisplayPort standard,[16] and after a proposal from AMD, VESA later adapted the Panel-Self-Refresh feature for use in standalone displays and added it as an optional feature of the main DisplayPort standard under the name "Adaptive-Sync" in version 1.2a.[17] As it is an optional feature, support for Adaptive-Sync is not required for a display to be DisplayPort 1.2a-compliant.


DisplayPort version 1.3 was approved on 15 September 2014.[18] This standard increases overall transmission bandwidth to 32.4 Gbit/s with the new HBR3 mode featuring 8.1 Gbit/s per lane (up from 5.4 Gbit/s with HBR2 in version 1.2), for a total data throughput of 25.92 Gbit/s after factoring in 8b/10b encoding overhead. This bandwidth is enough for a 4K UHD display (3840×2160) at 120 Hz with 24 bit/px RGB color, a 5K display (5120×2880) at 60 Hz with 30 bit/px RGB color, or an 8K UHD display (7680×4320) at 30 Hz with 24 bit/px RGB color. Using Multi-Stream Transport (MST), a DisplayPort port can drive two 4K UHD (3840×2160) displays at 60 Hz, or up to four WQXGA (2560×1600) displays at 60 Hz with 24 bit/px RGB color. The new standard includes mandatory Dual-mode for DVI and HDMI adapters, implementing the HDMI 2.0 standard and HDCP 2.2 content protection.[19] The Thunderbolt 3 connection standard was originally to include DisplayPort 1.3 capability, but the final release ended up with only version 1.2. The VESA's Adaptive Sync feature in DisplayPort version 1.3 remains an optional part of the specification.[20]


DisplayPort version 1.4 was published March 1, 2016.[21] No new transmission modes are defined, so HBR3 (32.4 Gbit/s) as introduced in version 1.3 still remains as the highest available mode. DisplayPort 1.4 adds support for Display Stream Compression 1.2 (DSC), Forward Error CorrectionHDR10 extension defined in CTA-861.3, the Rec. 2020 color space, and extends the maximum number of inline audio channels to 32.[22]

DSC is a "visually lossless" encoding technique with up to 3:1 compression ratio.[21] Using DSC with HBR3 transmission rates, DisplayPort 1.4 can support 8K UHD (7680×4320) at 60 Hz with 30 bit/px RGB color and HDR, or 4K UHD (3840×2160) at 120 Hz with 30 bit/px RGB color and HDR. 4K at 60 Hz with 30 bit/px RGB color and HDR can be achieved without the need for DSC. On displays which do not support DSC, the maximum limits are unchanged from DisplayPort 1.3 (4K 120 Hz, 5K 60 Hz, 8K 30 Hz).[23


Next versionEdit

According to a roadmap published by VESA in September 2016, a new version of DisplayPort should be launched in 2017. It improves the link rate from 8.1 to 10 Gbit/s, a 24% increase.[24][25] This will increase the total bandwidth from 32.4 Gbit/s to 40.0 Gbit/s. It is not clear whether the new version will continue using the 8b/10b for transport encoding, so the usable data rate is unknown.

The added bandwidth makes more uncompressed resolutions possible, such as:

  • 5K (5120 × 2880) 60 Hz 30 bit/px RGB

  • 4K (3840 × 2160) 120 Hz 30 bit/px RGB

  • 4K (3840 × 2160) 144 Hz 24 bit/px RGB

The roadmap also states it will make 8K at 120 Hz possible, likely using Display Stream Compression and/or YCBCR with chroma subsampling.


Resolution and refresh frequency limits for DisplayPortEdit

Data Rate


DisplayPort Version / Maximum Data Rate
8.64 Gbit/s[b]17.28 Gbit/s[b]25.92 Gbit/s[b]25.92 Gbit/s[b]
1080p1920 × 108030 Hz1.58 Gbit/sYesYesYesYes
60 Hz3.20 Gbit/sYesYesYesYes
120 Hz6.59 Gbit/sYesYesYesYes
144 Hz8.00 Gbit/sYesYesYesYes
240 Hz14.00 Gbit/sNoYesYesYes
1440p2560 × 144030 Hz2.78 Gbit/sYesYesYesYes
60 Hz5.63 Gbit/sYesYesYesYes
75 Hz7.09 Gbit/sYesYesYesYes
120 Hz11.59 Gbit/sNoYesYesYes
144 Hz14.08 Gbit/sNoYesYesYes
165 Hz16.30 Gbit/sNoYesYesYes
240 Hz24.62 Gbit/sNoNoYesYes
4K3840 × 216030 Hz6.18 Gbit/sYesYesYesYes
60 Hz12.54 Gbit/sNoYesYesYes
75 Hz15.79 Gbit/sNoYesYesYes
120 Hz25.82 Gbit/sNoNoYesYes
144 Hz31.35 Gbit/sNoNoNoYes[c]
240 Hz54.84 Gbit/sNoNoNoYes[c]
5K5120 × 288030 Hz10.94 Gbit/sNoYesYesYes
60 Hz22.18 Gbit/sNoNoYesYes
120 Hz45.66 Gbit/sNoNoNoYes[c]
8K7680 × 432030 Hz24.48 Gbit/sNoNoYesYes
60 Hz49.65 Gbit/sNoNoNoYes[c]

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