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DisplayPort 2.0 is the Latest DisplayPort Spec – How does it Compare to DisplayPort 1.4?
Jessica Hopkins

DisplayPort (DP) 2.0 is the newest specification released by VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) in June 2019. This new release comprises of a number of new features and upgrades from the previous DisplayPort 1.4 spec. Let’s get to know the differences between DisplayPort 1.4 vs DisplayPort 2.0, and learn what we can expect with the latest release.

Introduction of DisplayPort 1.4

DisplayPort 1.4 brought many features into the picture, including support for 8K resolution, Display Stream Compression (DSC) 1.2, and High Dynamic Range (HDR).

First and foremost, one of the major features DisplayPort 1.4 has introduced is its support for enhanced resolutions, including supporting display resolutions of 8K at 60 Hz and 4K at 120 Hz. Building upon the previous architecture from DisplayPort 1.3, DisplayPort 1.4 also includes support for a maximum link bandwidth up to 32.4 Gbps, transmitting 8.1 Gbps over 4 lanes.

DisplayPort 1.4 incorporates the previously adopted Display Stream Compression (DSC) standard, but it is the first spec to include the newest DSC version 1.2, which supports a wider range of display applications, including externally connected displays like PC monitors and televisions. DSC 1.2 also supports native 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 coding, which eliminates the conversion of pixels into RBG components and in turn enables a more efficient compression of incoming pixels. Version 1.2 also supports up to 16 bits per color, creating high-quality color depth content. With these features provided with DSC 1.2, HDR is able to function more efficiently.

DisplayPort 1.4 uses the video transport compression feature, and because of this, this spec is can be built over USB Type-C connector, allowing for high-definition video and SuperSpeed USB, as well as HDR and 8K over either a native DP cable or USB Type-C connector through the DisplayPort Alt mode.

Other features within DP 1.4 includes Forward Error Correction on top of DSC 1.2, which allows for error-free video transport to external displays. DP 1.4 also includes HDR meta transport and expanded audio transport on 32 audio channels and 1536Hz sample rate.

Upgrading to DisplayPort 2.0

While DisplayPort 1.4 has its stake in the market, we will soon be seeing a wider adoption of the latest DisplayPort 2.0 spec from many companies. What can we expect with the newest release?

DisplayPort 2.0 introduces three different bit rates per lane over four lanes, including 10Gbps, 13.5Gbps, and 20Gbps. This means that DP 2.0 can in theory triple its max link bandwidth up to 80 Gbps. However, at this time, VESA is focusing on creating passive cables supporting UBHR 10 (Ultra High Bit Rate), delivering a total of up to 40 Gbps. By increasing the bandwidth to this length, it is stated by VESA, that “DP 2.0 is the first standard to support 8K resolution (7680 x 4320) at 60 Hz refresh rate with full-color 4:4:4 resolution, including with 30 bits per pixel (bpp) for HDR-10 support.”

 DisplayPort 2.0 will allow multiple display configurations, supporting various resolutions and refresh rates, even up to 16K at 60 Hz. Image by cdu445 via Pixabay

DisplayPort 2.0 brings all new enhancements for its display resolution support, going beyond 8K, and supporting virtual reality/augmented reality displays. VESA classifies various configurations of resolution and refresh rates that can be supported with the new spec, including:

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)

When using only two lanes on the USB-C connector via DP Alt Mode to allow for simultaneous SuperSpeed USB data and video, DP 2.0 can enable such configurations as:

  • 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)

DP 2.0 also exploits its higher bandwidth capabilities over the Type-C connector providing a better user experience. Because of the increase in bandwidth, DP 2.0 can allow users to operate both SuperSpeed USB and high-resolution video concurrently.

Lastly, DP 2.0 also introduces the Panel Replay feature, which allows for increased power savings in smaller devices, or all-in-one PC’s with higher resolutions by optimizing display refreshes.

How to Ensure DisplayPort Cables are up to Spec

Since DP 2.0 is newly introduced, quality and interoperability issues may arise as it’s rolled out into home entertainment systems including gaming consoles, televisions, PC’s, and the cables themselves. It’s not only important to ensure cables meet specification requirements, but to also ensure complete quality control over cables during the development and production process. Additionally, simply performing functional testing will not catch errors underneath the surface that can greatly affect the quality of the cable, and testers may not be able to determine whether or not the cable meets display resolutions standards with the naked eye.

Total Phase’s Advanced Cable Tester v2 supports testing a variety of cables, including widely adopted video cables such as HDMI and DisplayPort. Specifically, this cable testing solution can even test DisplayPort cables that include the latest DisplayPort 2.0 specification (and earlier) to ensure it’s up to standard and quality-made. The Advanced Cable Tester v2 comprehensively tests for a variety of components within DP to DP cables including pin continuity to detect shorts and opens, DC resistance on all non-High Speed and SuperSpeed wires, and signal integrity to determine the quality of the signal on data lines up to 12.8 Gbps per channel.

The Advanced Cable Tester v2 supports testing DisplayPort to DisplayPort cables.

With the Advanced Cable Tester v2, testing each cable quickly and thoroughly is now achievable, as our cable tester is designed to fit factory and production line settings, economizing the testing and overhead costs.

For more information on how the Advanced Cable Tester v2 can help ensure quality over your video cables, please contact us at sales@totalphase.com.