One of AMD's pet projects will be seeing the light of day in the very near future, one that could put another nail in Thunderbolt's overpriced coffin. AMD in association with several other VESA members have developed an update to DisplayPort called DockPort that will provide USB 3.0 power and data over the cable at the same time it transmits up to 21.6 Gbps of DisplayPort Video. This will be of great usage when connecting your machine to a docking station, with one cable you get a lot of connectivity options and could also mean much smaller and less expensive docking stations are possible.
INTERNATIONAL CES, LAS VEGAS (7 January 2014) – The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA®) announced today that DockPort will be added as an official extension to the existing DisplayPort standard. DockPort is an emerging technology that enables high-speed USB 3.0 data over the existing DisplayPort connector. Originally developed by AMD, Texas Instruments, and other VESA member companies, the DockPort extension will allow notebooks, tablets and other small form factor computers to aggregate the display, data and power interfaces into a single convenient connector.
Computers and other smart devices require high-speed I/O ports to share high-resolution video with external displays, high-bandwidth data with external storage and other peripherals, and power for battery charging. As notebooks and tablets become thinner and more portable, consumers want to combine these three common interfaces into a single port on their mobile device. With a single DisplayPort connection using the new DockPort extension and enhanced power capabilities under development, consumers will be able to attach their computers or tablets to a docking station and have instant, hassle-free access to a wide array of external resources.
“Consumers are happiest when they can personalize their electronics systems and reduce the number of cables they need to deal with at the same time,” explained Steve Belt, AMD’s corporate vice president of strategic alliances. “We identified DisplayPort as an ideal starting point and began collaborating with other industry leaders to create DockPort as an extension of DisplayPort’s capabilities. With just one inexpensive connector, users can now access power, a mouse, keyboard, external optical and hard disk drives, printers, gaming controller, and up to four external monitors. That’s a lot of capability from a single, standardized connector.”
AMD’s Discovery Tablet reference design, which utilizes DisplayPort with the DockPort extension to enable video, data and power over one connector, won two 2014 CES Innovation Awards.
“VESA’s decision to augment the popular DisplayPort standard with the single-connector capabilities of TI’s innovative DockPort controller is a win for end equipment designers and consumers,” said Wes Ray, systems and applications manager for Consumer and Computing Interface at Texas Instruments. “As an open standard, DockPort will be readily available for designers to implement, and more quickly deliver, the convenience of a single connection in devices such as tablets, notebooks, docking stations and dongles.”
DisplayPort is the world’s most advanced, high data rate video interface standard. It connects computers and other video sources to televisions and displays, while maintaining backward compatibility with VGA, DVI and HDMI. The global standard is backed by more than 200 technology leaders worldwide.
Designed to be robustly ‘future proof’ as well as backward compatible, DisplayPort allows a video source to drive up to four displays, and it is the only video interface that can support 4K UHD TVs and displays with deep color at 60 frames per second. DisplayPort with the DockPort extension will continue to be a royalty-free standard. DisplayPort-certified systems are available from every leading display manufacturer, and consumers purchase millions of DisplayPort products every year.
“Being a modern, high-speed, packet-based digital interface, DisplayPort was designed to be extensible while also providing backward compatibility,” said Craig Wiley, Sr. Director of Marketing for Parade Technologies, and Chair of the VESA Board of Directors. “Similar to Thunderbolt and MyDP, the new DockPort extension will utilize the flexibility of DisplayPort technology to create a single display, data, and, in the near future, power connector, while still being backward compatible with all other DisplayPort devices. We expect the DockPort feature will appear in main-stream products since its performance is tailored for standard connectors and passive cables.”