DisplayPort 2.0 Supports Dual 4K VR Displays @120Hz

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    The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has officially released DisplayPort 2.0, representing the first major update to the audio/video standard since the entrance of DisplayPort 1.4 back in March 2016.

    DisplayPort 2.0 is said to provide up to a 3× increase in data bandwidth performance compared to the previous version. Some of the features include support for greater-than-8K resolutions on standard monitors, higher refresh rates and high dynamic range (HDR) support at higher resolutions, improved support for multiple display configurations, and support for “4K-and-beyond” VR resolutions.

    The association maintains in a press statement that the advantages of DP 2.0 will be available across both the native DP connector (backwards compatible) as well as the USB Type-C connector, which carries the DP audio/video signal through DisplayPort Alt Mode.

    Image courtesy NVIDIA

    VESA mentions that through the DisplayPort Alt Mode, DP 2.0 has the ability to provide data transmission for two 4,096 × 4,096 VR/AR displays running at 120Hz—30 bits per pixel (bpp) and 4:4:4 HDR with Display Steam Compression.

    VESA says the first products incorporating DP 2.0 are projected to appear on the market by late 2020.

    The VirtualLink connector, a VR standard created by a consortium of industry players, was released last year, and includes everything you need to connect the next generation of VR headsets to your GPU with a single, thin cable—support for four lanes of HBR3 DisplayPort for high-resolution displays, USB 3.1 Gen2 (SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps) for headset cameras and sensors, and up to 27 Watts of power delivery.

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    NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX cards include hardware support for the VirtualLink connector, although it’s yet to become a universal feature on the newest headsets currently available, including Valve Index, Oculus Rift S, and the HTC Vive Cosmos. Adapter dongles are available, but we’ve yet to see a VR headset that directly makes use of the connector.

    Since VirtualLink is based on DP 1.4, it’s possible we’ll hear about a commensurate ‘2.0 bump’ in ability soon from the consortium themselves; you might hazard a guess at what a VirtualLink 2.0 may provide from the DP 2.0 usecases stated by VESA below:

    USB-C connector via DP Alt Mode (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)
    • Single display resolutions

      • One 16K (15360×8460) display @60Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)
      • One 10K (10240×4320) display @60Hz and 24 bpp 4:4:4 (no compression)

      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)

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