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VESA Announces DockPort Standard

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA, Newark CA) has released the DockPort standard. Developed by several VESA member companies, DockPort is an optional extension of the DisplayPort standard that will allow USB 3.1 data and DC power for battery charging to be carried over a single DisplayPort connector and cable that also carries high-resolution audio/video (AV) data.

This new extension of the DisplayPort standard is backward compatible with all existing DisplayPort devices. When a DockPort-enabled DisplayPort source, such as a computer or tablet, is connected with a DockPort-enabled DisplayPort sink, such as a display monitor or docking station, AV plus USB data and power will be transferred over a common cable through a single connector. If either the source or sink device is not DockPort-enabled, source and sink will recognize only the DisplayPort AV data stream.

“As computing platforms become increasingly mobile, it becomes necessary to reduce the number of external connectors,” explained Steve Belt, Corporate Vice President-Strategic Alliances & Solutions Enablement AMD, a VESA member company. “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.”

DockPort is the first royalty-free industry standard that combines these three essential interface functions into a single connector. VESA first revealed its intention to develop this standard at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show. “Until today, most mobile computing platforms required three separate interfaces to support power charging, data transmission and external video,” said Chris Griffith, Business Development Manager for Consumer and Computing Interface at Texas Instruments, a VESA member company. “With DockPort, VESA has elegantly merged this ungainly tangle of wires into a single, sleek connector, combining power charging with the industry’s most popular data transport (USB) and the industry’s highest-speed AV transport, DisplayPort. DockPort can reduce system implementation cost as designers can reduce external connectors and simplify docking implementations.”

VESA is developing a compliance test protocol to certify systems that meet the DockPort standard, which will then be permitted to display VESA’s new DockPort logo on their packaging as a guide for consumers seeking this capability.

“The new DockPort standard demonstrates the enormous adaptability of the DisplayPort standard,” according to VESA Board Chair Alan Kobayashi, Fellow & Executive R&D Management for DisplayPort Group at MegaChips Technology America. “On the one hand, DisplayPort is a flexible AV transport protocol that easily coexists with other protocols, like USB; it plays nicely with others. On the other hand, DisplayPort is also a robust and proven connector design whose electro-mechanical properties can accommodate data and power over a common passive copper cable and interface.”

The DockPort standard is offered to VESA members without any license fee. For more information about DisplayPort, go to http://www.displayport.org or connect on YouTube.

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