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DisplayPort Tutorial

DisplayPort is a digital display interface standard that was approved in May 2006.  The current version 1.1 was approved on April 2, 2007, and put forth by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA). It defines a new license-free, royalty-free, digital audio/video interconnect, intended to be used primarily between a computer and its display monitor, or a computer and a home-theater system.

The DisplayPort connector video signal is not compatible with DVI or HDMI, but a DisplayPort connector can pass these signals through. While DVI and HDMI require separate clock signals, DisplayPort embeds the clock in the data signal. Unlike the separate DVI/HDMI and LVDS standards, DisplayPort supports both external and internal display connections.  DisplayPort currently supports a maximum of 10.8 Gbit/s data rate and WQXGA (2560×1600) resolution over a 3 meter cable.

DisplayPort includes optional DPCP (DisplayPort Content Protection) copy-protection from AMD, which uses 128-bit AES encryption. It also adds support for verifying the proximity of the receiver and transmitter, a technique intended to ensure users are not bypassing content protection system to send data out to distant, unauthorized users.

DisplayPort is a competitor to the HDMI connector (with HDCP copy-protection), the de facto digital connection for high-definition consumer electronics devices. Another competitor is Unified Display Interface, a low cost compatible alternative to HDMI and DVI. However, the main supporter of UDI, Intel Corporation, has stopped the development of the technology and now supports DisplayPort.

Newly featured in version 1.1 is the support of HDCP content protection and support for fiber optic cables as an alternative to copper, allowing a much longer reach between source and display without image degradation.  Revision 2.0 is planned for later release.

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