VESA Publishes DisplayPort 2.0 Spec With Triple The Bandwidth And 16K Support

It's been three years since the DisplayPort standard was last updated, so a replacement has been a long time coming. This week, the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) officially announced the DisplayPort 2.0 specification, and it brings some key advantages over the current DisplayPort 1.4a standard.

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For starters, DisplayPort 2.0 triples the amount of available bandwidth compared to DisplayPort 1.4a. The current spec uses 8b/10b channel coding making for maximum bandwidth of 25.92 Gbps. DisplayPort 2.0, on the other hand, boosts the link rate to 20 Gbps/lane and uses 128b/132b channel encoding to deliver maxim bandwidth of 77.37 Gbps.

What does this all mean in the real world? For end-users, you'll see maximum supported resolutions balloon to 16K, while you will be able to enjoy 8K resolutions (7680x4320) at 60Hz with full-color 4:4:4 resolution in HDR-10 (30 bits per pixel). 

As for port compatibility, DisplayPort 2.0 will function with the native DisplayPort connector or via a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 connector using the DP Alt Mode. By going the latter route, the single connection will handle video, audio, and audio simultaneously.

Below are the supported DisplayPort resolutions with the native DisplayPort connector:

Single display resolutions

  • One 16K (15360×8460) display @60Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)
  • One 10K (10240×4320) display @60Hz and 24 bpp 4:4:4 (no compression)

Dual display resolutions

  • Two 8K (7680×4320) displays @120Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)
  • Two 4K (3840×2160) displays @144Hz and 24 bpp 4:4:4 (no compression)

Triple display resolutions

  • Three 10K (10240×4320) displays @60Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)
  • Three 4K (3840×2160) displays @90Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (no compression)

And if you want to use a USB-C connector with DP Alt Mode, you have these available options:

  • Three 4K (3840×2160) displays @144Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)
  • Two 4Kx4K (4096×4096) displays (for AR/VR headsets) @120Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (with DSC)
  • Three QHD (2560×1440) @120Hz and 24 bpp 4:4:4 (no compression)
  • One 8K (7680×4320) display @30Hz and 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR (no compression)

With DisplayPort 2.0, VESA is future-proofing the heck out of the interface to enable high-resolution displays years down the road. 4K displays are becoming more commonplace in the PC space, but you need a powerful (and expensive) GPU to get consistent 60+ FPS performance in games. Don't even get us started on when 8K, 10K or 16K displays will be readily accessible (at reasonable price points) or when GPUs will be powerful enough to push that many pixels at once...