DockPort display standard to combine video, power, USB

The Video Electronics Standards Association announced the official release of the DockPort standard, the next generation of today's DisplayPort connector, which will add USB connectivity and power on top of its existing display capabilities.

The idea is to merge three separate sets of wires into a single cable, eliminating clutter and simplifying the design of monitors and computing devices. Manufacturers are expected to show their first DockPort designs at Computex this week, VESA said.

“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, in a statement. “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 A/V transport—DisplayPort."

DockPort was developed with AMD in conjunction with Texas Instruments. The company's concept video hints at some interesting directions to the technology, including using DockPort to connect a tablet to the main chassis of a notebook, as well as powering a number of external peripherals. AMD reportedly developed DockPort (known originally as "Lightning Bolt") in response to Intel's development of the Thunderbolt I/O standard.

 

 DockPort will support USB 3.1 devices, VESA said. It wasn't immediately clear what the available video throughput would be, however, or how much power the DockPort connector will deliver. If either the source or sink device is not a DockPort-enabled, then source and sink will recognize only the DisplayPort A/V data stream, VESA said.

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