DisplayPort Cards Coming, AMD's RV635 Unveiled

We've got a bit of show-and-tell for you here this morning.  You might recall recent announcements of a new digital display interface, dubbed DisplayPort by VESA, the Video Electronics Standards Association.  This new interface will supplant DVI and VGA connections eventually and its micropacket architecture offers significantly more bandwidth with multi-monitor support over a single cable.  Like HDMI, a DisplayPort connection can carry 8-channel 24-bit audio, but also offers a dedicated auxiliary link for control communications of things like panel I/O and microphone connections.  There are hundreds of big brand name companies behind the standard that is set to compete with HDMI for desktop and notebook dominance, including the likes of AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, Samsung and Dell.  However, DisplayPort is more likely to co-exist with HDMI, since HDMI is specifically targeted for consumer electronics like set-top boxes, DVD players etc, while DisplayPort was designed from the ground up for computing. 

Though we've heard through the grapevine that NVIDIA is readying DisplayPort capable graphics cards for sometime early next year, AMD has stepped up with the first DisplayPort-enabled graphics card to hit our test labs. 

AMD's RV635 XT With Dual DisplayPort And DVI-D

Left To Right - DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI-D (from LCD display)

DisplayPort Cables

We've got an RV635 XT board here and have been testing it out on an unreleased LCD panel that we'll be showing you in the coming weeks.  On the board you'll note that the surrounding circuitry for each DisplayPort connection is minimal and devoid of those all-too familiar Silicon Image TMDS chips that add cost to any dual link DVI-D connection.  Since each DisplayPort cable can run multiple monitors in a daisy-chain configuration, imagine a four panel setup from a single graphics card and even possibly a single cable connection.  We'll have more to come on the LCD side of the equation, soon.