VESA, which makes the DisplayPort specification, today announced a certification program intended to help consumers understand whether a DisplayPort 2.0 cable, monitor, or video source supports the maximum refresh rates and resolutions that the specification demands.
Technical certifications, such as DisplayPort and HDMI, provide an overview of the capabilities of related products to give shoppers an idea of expected performance, such as the maximum speed of a monitor or the maximum bandwidth of a cable, before they are used.
The latest VESA certification about DisplayPort 2.0. The specification can support a maximum throughput of 80Gbps compared to DisplayPort 1.4 at 32.4Gbps. This enables extreme uses, such as 16K resolution with Display Stream Compression (DSC), 10K without compression, or two 8K HDR monitors at 120Hz.
But just because a monitor or cable, for example, is DisplayPort 2.0 certified doesn’t mean that’s the performance you’ll get.
The UHBR certificate is what you should check if you want to be sure of these numbers. VESA’s new “DP80 UHBR” certification means that the monitor, cable or video source supports a link rate of up to 20 Gbps (what VESA calls UHBR20) and a transmission speed of up to 80 Gbps over four lanes.
Meanwhile, “DP40 UHBR” certification requires support for a 10Gbps link rate (UHBR10) and a maximum throughput of 40Gbps through a four-path process.
Of course, some products can still claim this performance without going through the VESA certification process, but UHBR certifications seem to be the only way to know if a DisplayPort 2.0 product will give you that great bandwidth.
UHBR certified cables
There should eventually be UHBR-certified monitors and video sources, but today’s announcement is accompanied only by UHBR-certified cables. According to VESA, there are now DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort DP40 and DP80 cables from companies including Accell, Bizlink and WIZEN. The cables are also backward compatible with other DisplayPort link rates, such as HBR 3 and 2.
In a statement, James Chuat, VESA Compliance Program Manager, said the DP40 and DP8 cables are enabled by “improvements in both the DisplayPort connector and cable design.”
Regarding DisplayPort via Alt Mode, VESA noted that “full-featured passive USB-C cables already support UHBR bitrate speeds.” It added that UHBR-certified USB Type-C-to-DisplayPort adapter cables will be available “soon.”
VESA also said that “multiple video sources and display products” it is currently testing should be DisplayPort UHBR certified “soon.”
Try to avoid confusion
The amount of bandwidth a DisplayPort product supports affects the capabilities of the technology. For example, the theoretical maximum refresh rate of 4K on Windows with DisplayPort 2.0 is 569Hz with DisplayPort 2.0 and UHBR13.5 but 749Hz if you switch to UHBR20 (of course, no monitors or graphics cards support that).
VESA’s DisplayPort competitor is HDMI, which dominates the TV space. And VESA learned a lesson from the HDMI licensing officer’s handling of the HDMI 2.1 specification. In December, the spec maker saw a backlash when it turned out HDMI 2.1 virtually replaces HDMI 2.0so products with features that maximize what was normally considered HDMI 2.0 level performance can still be called HDMI 2.1.
“It’s a recognized issue now…” “With the emergence of these new standards that have these options to support all these great features… just because they are certified to this new standard, It doesn’t mean that they are all supported – and that’s something that needs to be communicated.”
Ars was told that VESA initially didn’t focus too much on UHBR when it announced DisplayPort 2.0 in 2019, because it feared marketing “confusion”. Having to look up the specs within the spec doesn’t scream simplicity, but at least the combination provides a path to understanding.
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