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VESA unveils new DockPort standard

VESA unveils new DockPort standard

The new DockPort standard from VESA merges the capabilities of USB 3.1 with DisplayPort, offering data, power and audiovisual transfer using a single backwards-compatible connector.

The Video Electronic Standards Association (VESA) has announced its latest development: the DockPort standard, designed to allow USB 3.1 data and power to be carried over a DisplayPort connector.

Designed to compete with Thunderbolt in the functionality stakes, VESA's DockPort standard is aimed primarily at portable computing systems like laptops and high-end tablets. When two DockPort-compatible devices are connected, the industry group explained at its announcement, the single cable between them will carry high-resolution digital video, audio, USB-compatible data streams and DC power - allowing the portable device to transfer files, charge its battery or to take control of remote devices. Where a DockPort-compatible device is connected to a standard DisplayPort-compatible device, the extra features are safely disabled - so there's no risk of putting voltage where no voltage should be and popping a monitor, the group claimed.

'As computing platforms become increasingly mobile, it becomes necessary to reduce the number of external connectors,' claimed AMD's Steve Belt of the group's work. 'With DockPort, VESA has developed a technology standard that enhances elegant docking designs, reduces mobile form factors, and enriches the user experience with streamlined, one-cable access to a wide range of external displays, peripherals and storage.'

The DockPort standard is being offered to all VESA member companies royalty-free, with the first DockPort-enabled systems due to go on display at the Computex trade show later today. At present, however, the group has not yet completed a compliance test protocol - meaning it could be a short while before said DockPort-compatible devices are ready to buy on the open market.

7 Comments

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Corky42 3rd June 2014, 13:02 Quote
Sounds good but i don't think this will come into its own until DP 1.3, isn't DP 1.2 limited in maximum resolution ? So people plugging in a mobile device may not be able to take advantage of higher resolution displays, like a 4k monitor.
debs3759 3rd June 2014, 15:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Sounds good but i don't think this will come into its own until DP 1.3, isn't DP 1.2 limited in maximum resolution ?

Current generation graphics cards all specify a maximum resolution of 4096 x 2160 @ 60 Hz over DisplayPort 1.2.

DP 1.3, when GPU manufacturers start to support it, will enable 8K displays, or a maximum of 8192×4320
Corky42 3rd June 2014, 16:05 Quote
Forgive me if I've got this wrong, 4K is 3840 x 2160 yes ? so at present DP 1.2 supports 4K.
Would (I'm guessing) using some of the wires in a DP cable to carry USB and power reduce the maximum resolution a DockPort could display ?
azazel1024 3rd June 2014, 16:27 Quote
I need to read in to this more, but I don't think the author is mentioning the limitation. Dock Port, or at least last I read on it a couple of months ago only supports USB3.1 if it is NOT also carrying full video. If you are pushing something like 4k over it, I think it only supports something like USB2. Not even USB3.0.

Its very bandwidth constrained compared to Thunderbolt. I mean, it IS a nice step forward, but it doesn't really compete. Not really.
Gareth Halfacree 3rd June 2014, 16:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azazel1024
I need to read in to this more, but I don't think the author is mentioning the limitation. Dock Port, or at least last I read on it a couple of months ago only supports USB3.1 if it is NOT also carrying full video. If you are pushing something like 4k over it, I think it only supports something like USB2. Not even USB3.0.
'The author' didn't mention it 'cos 'the author' hasn't heard anything of the sort - and can't find anything in previous write-ups or official documentation, either. Got a source on that claim?

EDIT: The closest I've found is a comment on AndandTech's write-up of the same press release, claiming "The problem with Dockport is that in it's current iteration you're limited to 2560x1600@24bit/60Hz with Displayport 1.2 + USB 3.x" - but again with no citation.
Corky42 3rd June 2014, 17:36 Quote
Sorry i wasn't meaning to start an argument

I only asked because i was curious if DockPort comes at the expense of a lower maximum resolution, making it (maybe) not as useful for mobile devices until DP 1.3 increases the available bandwidth.

By the sounds of it the technical details are a little thin on the ground at this early stage.
[-Stash-] 5th June 2014, 18:57 Quote
Please. Either DockPort gets some serious traction, or Intel improves (and makes massively cheaper) Thunderbolt. Either way I'm happy. Laptops/tablets/phones need this. It will also make desktops a lot neater – I'd love to have 3×4k screens with a USB3 hub coming (with power) from a single cable from the case, that would rock.
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