VESA is updating all DisplayPort 2.0 products to the new DisplayPort 2.1 standard.

In a nutshell: The new specification includes improvements that make DisplayPort tunneling over a USB4 connection more efficient and thus enable faster simulcast rates. DisplayPort 2.1 cables also have more stringent requirements, allowing them to be used longer without sacrificing supported bandwidth.

VESA announced that it released an updated DisplayPort 2.1 specification that is still backward compatible and replaces the previous version. While the maximum supported speeds remain the same, the new standard introduces hidden improvements and stricter cable requirements.

The association says it is working with companies to ensure that all DP 2.0 certified products will support the newer and more demanding specification. This includes cables, docking ICs, scalar monitor ICs, PHY repeater ICs, and GPUs such as Intel Arc and those integrated from AMD 6000 series mobile CPUs.

DisplayPort 2.1 now uses the same physical layer (PHY) specification as USB4 and adds a new bandwidth management feature to enable more efficient DisplayPort tunneling over USB4. The latest version of DP also requires VESA Display Stream Compression (DSC) codec support and panel playback capability.

DSC bitstream support can reduce DP transport throughput by up to 67 percent while maintaining no visual loss. Meanwhile, Panel Replay can reduce the bandwidth used by DP tunneling by more than 99 percent when displaying a static image. In turn, these improvements allow for faster USB4 transfer rates while still using DisplayPort tunneling.

VESA has also updated the requirements for DisplayPort cables, including those with Mini DP connectors. Passive DP40 cables that support a maximum throughput of 40 Gbps now support lengths over 2 meters. Meanwhile, passive cables certified to operate at a maximum throughput of 80 Gbps can now be over 1 meter long.

Recently there have been rumors that the AMD Radeon RX 7000 GPUs, which will be released in the coming weeks, will support the DisplayPort 2.1 standard. In comparison, Nvidia’s new GeForce RTX 4000 series only supports DP 1.4a. declaring that gaming monitors that support the latest specifications are still far in the future.

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