DisplayPort Alt Mode coming to USB4/USBC with support for up to 16K displays, 80 Gbps speeds

VESA has announced today that its DisplayPort 2.0 specs are coming to USB4/USB-C that will bring a jump in the capabilities of video output. The standard will support up to 16K displays with video data throughput of up to 80 Gbps.

VESA shared the news on its website today. The new spec coming to USB4 and USB-C devices is called DisplayPort Alt Mode and it brings the power of DisplayPort 2.0 performance.

DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0 provides seamless interoperability with the new USB4™ specification published by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), and fully enables all of the features in the latest version of the DisplayPort standard (version 2.0) through the USB Type-C® (USB-C) connector. With DisplayPort Alt Mode, the USB-C connector can transmit up to 80 Gigabits per second (Gbps) of DisplayPort video data utilizing all four high-speed lanes in the cable, or up to 40 Gbps with simultaneous SuperSpeed USB data delivery.

DisplayPort 2.0 was originally released back in June 2019 but that’s through traditional DisplayPort I/O, the Alt Mode will bring the video output capabilities to the widely adopted USB-C spec as well as Thunderbolt 3.

Through our latest collaboration with the USB-IF, VESA is now taking care of everything related to high-performance displays over USB-C, whether through a native DisplayPort or USB-C connector, or through tunneling of DisplayPort over the native USB4 interface. DisplayPort is also tunneled through the Thunderbolt interface, making it the de facto video standard across PC and mobile displays.”

As for the maximum capabilities, even though we’re a long way from 8K+ displays being used in the mainstream, DisplayPort 2.0 Alt Mode over USB-C/Thunderbolt will enable video output up to 16K at 60Hz.

Featuring the highly efficient 128b/132b channel coding shared with USB4, DisplayPort 2.0 delivers a maximum payload of 77.37 Gbps across four lanes (up to 19.34 Gbps per lane)—supporting ultra-high display performance configurations such as an 8K (7680×4320) display with 60 Hz refresh rate with full-color 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR resolution uncompressed, and 16K (15360×8460) 60 Hz display with 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR resolution with compression.

VESA says the first devices to be compatible with the new standard will arrive on the market next year.

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