VESA unveils DisplayPort 2.0 standard with support for 16K displays

The DisplayPort standard from the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) is getting a serious upgrade in the form of version 2.0. The last time VESA released a major update for DisplayPort was in March of 2016, with version 1.4a, and the new standard promises up to three times the bandwidth of its predecessor. This means that the technology can go beyond 8K displays, and it could also deliver major improvements to virtual reality, with support for 4H resolutions and up.

DisplayPort not only improves on its predecessor by a factor of three, with a peak payload of 77.37 Gbps, it also beats out the latest HDMI standard, which supports up to 48Gbps of bandwidth as of version 2.1, released in late 2017. With this much bandwidth, DP 2.0 is the first standard to support 8K displays at 60Hz with full-color 4:4:4 resolution and 30 bits per pixel (bpp) with no compression.

But that's not the only first for DP 2.0. It's also the first standard to support 16K displays at 60Hz, and it still keeps that 4:4:4 color resolution and 30bpp, though it uses Display Stream Compression to achieve that. It can also support a 10K display at 60Hz with no compression, but limited to 24bpp. Here are some of the setups allowed when using the full bandwidth capacity of DP 2.0:

Dual display resolutions

  • Two 8K (7680×4320) 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 resolutions

  • Three 10K (10240×4320) displays @60Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)
  • Three 4K (3840×2160) displays @90Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (no compression)

Another good thing about DisplayPort 2.0 is that the signal can also be carried by USB Type-C connectors, and if you're using some sort of dock, you can have some of the bandwidth dedicated to data transfers while keeping two lanes free for the Display Port signal. Here are some of the setups you can use with just two lanes:

  • Three 4K (3840×2160) displays @144Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)
  • Two 4Kx4K (4096×4096) displays (for AR/VR headsets) @120Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)
  • Three QHD (2560×1440) @120Hz and 24 bpp 4:4:4 (no compression)
  • One 8K (7680×4320) display @30Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (no compression)

DisplayPort 2.0 also introduces a new capability called Panel Replay, which allows it to only refresh the display image in parts where the image has changed. This could allow for power savings and better thermal performance on devices such as laptops.

Devices with support for DP 2.0 are expected to hit in the market towards in late 2020, so you'll have to wait a little bit longer if you have two 8K monitors lying around waiting for this technology.

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