Now high-end graphics cards, such as AMD6900, AMD6800XT, have reached or even exceeded 4K 240 frames in many linear game masterpieces! However, it is a sad sigh that due to the HDMI2.1 bandwidth limitation on AMD graphics cards, only a maximum of 4K 120 frames can be achieved, and the bandwidth of HDMI2.1 has severely limited the expressiveness of high-end graphics cards (DP2.0 is HDMI2.1 Twice the bandwidth, reaching 80Gbps, HDMI2.1’s 40Gbps can transmit 4K 120 YUV444 10-bit maximum, supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, DP2.0 supports 4K 240 YUV444 lossless 10-bit color, supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision), Therefore, AMD announced that the next-generation graphics card will be converted to DP2.0, so as to achieve 4K 240 frame output.


Why Does DP2.0 have a future?

Intel has previously stated that the Intel ARC discrete graphics code-named Alchemist will be officially launched in the first quarter of this year. A few days ago, photos of the black version of the Intel Arc graphics card have also been exposed, except for the color, the protective cover of the graphics card radiator is exactly the same as the silver version leaked last year. According to the exposure photos, this Intel Arc graphics card adopts a dual-fan design, and the rear interface is 3 DP + 1 HDMI video output interface. According to previous news, Intel has added DP 2.0 related content to its graphics card driver patch. Therefore, it is no surprise that Arc graphics cards will be the first to be equipped with DP 2.0 interfaces.

With the release of the RX 6600 XT, the layout of the AMD RDNA2 graphics card is basically complete, and subsequent updates should be more entry-level products. This also means that the development of RDNA3 is accelerated. In the Redeon open computing developer tools, Navi 3X GPUs have appeared, including Navi 31, Navi 33, etc. At the same time, support for the DisplayPort 2.0 interface has also been added to the AMD GPU-driven display of the Linux branch. In fact, the DP 2.0 interface standard was finalized as early as 2019, but the standard organization VESA has delayed terminal debugging due to the epidemic, resulting in no related monitors and graphics cards. According to the design scheme, the theoretical bandwidth of DP 2.0 is as high as 80Gbps, and a new encoding mechanism is adopted to increase the efficiency to 97%. The actual usable rate is as high as 77.4Gbps, which is 2.5 times that of the current DP1.4 and 1.6 times that of HDMI 2.1 (48Gbps). It can output 16K@60Hz (DSC), 10K@60Hz lossless, 4K@240Hz or even dual-screen 4K@144Hz on a single screen; that is to say, both AMD and Intel will use the DP2.0 interface on the graphics card this year, which will definitely Prompting display manufacturers to follow up the DP2.0 interface on their own products.


Frequent move of DP2.0

For the past five years or so, members of VESA have been discussing the future direction of DP. If a new external interface needs to be developed after the standard is upgraded, it is unacceptable for manufacturers and users. It is a wise way to make improvements around the existing physical layer and data transmission technology. VESA is obviously very aware of this. However, the physical layer of DP was designed more than ten years ago, and its original intention was to replace the two “old guys” of VGA and DVI. At that time, it was impossible to expand to today’s bandwidth. VESA took a clever approach: borrowing. They refer to Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 standard. The earliest application of Thunderbolt 3 based on the USB Type-C medium surface can be traced back to 2015. It has four 20Gbps data transmission channels, which can provide a total maximum bandwidth of 80Gbps. In the default bidirectional full-duplex working state, the bandwidth is 40Gbps. We don’t know whether VESA has been waiting for Intel to open Thunderbolt 3 all these years, or because the opening of Thunderbolt 3 has pointed the way to VESA. In short, Intel’s move is really meritorious. It has saved the two major standards of USB 4 and DP 2.0. At present, in the competition with HDMI2.1, DP2.0 has fallen behind significantly, so the two advantages of DP need continuous optimization and performance. One The DP standard interface is an asymmetric interface, and the mini DP interface has also been developed. In terms of data lines, DP 2.0 provides three different mechanisms, and the bandwidth of each channel is set at 10Gbps, 13.5Gbps, and 20Gbps, which VESA calls it. For “Ultra High Bit Rate” (UHBR/Ultra High Bit Rate), they are called UHBR 10, UHBR 13.5, and UHBR 20 according to the bandwidth.

The original bandwidth of UHBR 10 is 40Gbps, and the effective bandwidth is 38.69Gbps. Only passive copper wire is required. Previously, the DP 8K wire certification project included UHBR 10, and the 8K-certified DP data cable meets the signal integrity requirements of UHBR 10.

The original bandwidth of UHBR 13.5 and UHBR 20 is 54Gbps and 80Gbps, and the effective bandwidth is 52.22Gbps and 77.37Gbps. Passive cables can only be used for extremely short-distance transmission, such as the docking station of a notebook. Active cables are required for longer ones, and corresponding control and amplification chips need to be implanted in the cables.

Due to the existence of this standard, the cables of DP 2.0 are actually different. The VESA Association finally made a decision to certify different cables in order to distinguish them. The DP 2.0 cable has 2 standards according to the speed. The DP40 cable supports the UHBR 10 standard of 10Gbps per channel in the four internal channels, and the total rate is 40Gbps; the cable marked as DP80 is 20Gbps per channel. UHR20 standard, the rate can reach 80Gbps. Therefore, the DP40 and DP80 cables are clearly distinguished, and the possibility of manufacturers trying to fish in troubled water is greatly reduced.

VESA also revealed that the DP40 and DP80 standard DP lines and mini DP lines have been put into production, and the first batch of monitors and other equipment have also passed the certification. In fact, it is an indisputable fact that the labeling of electronic product cables is confusing. Whether it is the HDMI 2.1 mentioned above or the USB protocol, it is very confusing, and it has also caused many manufacturers to fish in troubled waters, making it difficult for users to distinguish. In terms of USB protocol, USB-IF has realized the tail, and the USB4 built with Thunderbolt 3 as the standard is completely unified. In order to avoid confusion in DP, VESA requires manufacturers to certify cables and interfaces, which can greatly solve the situation of trying to fish in troubled waters.

Once DP2.0 have real world application, the DP2.0 cable is become very important, the active optical DP2.0 Cable is become very important, as passive copper DP cable support length should within 1 meter . Smartavlink RD team is devoting themselves to the study of DP2.0 , and everything is goes under schedule, and believe we will launch DP2.0 AOC soon, under the help of active optical fiber, Smartavlink DP2.0 Active Optical Cable will support 80Gbps and support max 30m length . Let’s expect it and wait for our official launch.


About SmartAVLink

SmartAVLink started Optical-Electric conversion technology in 2013. Their optical and electrical conversion products include HDMI AOC, DP AOC, USB Type-C® AOC, DVI AOC’s (Active Optical Cables) and relative Optical-Fiber Engine. SmartAVLink has more than 7 years of experience in HDMI AOC design and manufacturing, and provides OEM/ODM to more than 300+ brands worldwide. SmartAVLink is an innovative company that focuses on optical and electrical conversion development. SmartAVLink’s products have worldwide applications including — VR&AR, Machine Vision, Medical System, System Integration, Digital Signature, Home Theater etc.

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