The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) announced the DisplayPort 2.1a today, which replaces the ultra-high bit rate (UHBR) DP40 cable with a new DP54 UHBR specification. This translates to a link speed of up to four UHBR13.5 lanes, enabling a maximum performance of 54 Gbps through a two-meter passive cable.
As a result, the DisplayPort 2.1a upgrade doubles the passive cable length for UHBR13.5 GPU-to-screen connections, which previously could only be achieved with a DP80 UHBR cable. This provides users with greater flexibility in setting up their gaming or workstation configurations.
With the DisplayPort 2.1a upgrade, the new DP54 cable specification allows the use of UHBR10 and UHBR13.5 source devices and receivers with passive cables up to two meters long. UHBR13.5-compatible monitors can handle resolution/refresh rate combinations of up to 8K2K at 240 Hz or 8K4K at 120 Hz on four lanes.
While VESA is phasing out the DP40 cable specification, it has confirmed that DP40 cables distributed so far meet the DP54 cable specifications and support UHBR13.5 link speeds. VESA-certified DP80 UHBR cables remain compatible with source and destination devices supporting UHBR20 link speeds (up to 80 Gbps using all four lanes), but they will no longer be needed for a majority of users, who can now purchase more affordable cables based on their requirements.
“With the latest DisplayPort update, the UHBR13.5 cable specification has been specifically designed to provide UHBR10 and UHBR13.5 monitors and graphics cards with a longer passive cable. Consumers are no longer limited to connecting UHBR13.5 source devices and receivers with a one-meter DP80 cable, which provides more bandwidth than their hardware requires and, in some cases, may be too short for their setup, for example with ultra-wide curved screens,” said James Choate, VESA’s Compliance Program Director.
In addition to DisplayPort 2.1a, VESA also announced that it has released a new Automotive Extension Services protocol specification for DisplayPort 2.1a. This is accompanied by the latest version of the VESA Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) specification, version 1.5a, which provides compatibility with automotive monitor functional safety, as well as secure integrity and authentication for up to 16 display regions of interest.
With the VESA Automotive Extension Services protocol, VESA has established a standard for vehicle displays for the first time. This standard enables display safety engineers to achieve ISO 26262 ASIL-D*, which is the holy grail of electronic safety integrity. Silicon manufacturers are already adopting the Automotive Extension Services protocol for chipsets to be integrated into future vehicles, which makes sense given the increasing presence of large touchscreens in electric vehicles.