VESA Expands DisplayPort Standard to Support Active Cables

Organization Sets New Industry Benchmark for Design Flexibility of Video Installations…..

Newark, Calif., June 22, 2011 – The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) today announced an extension of its DisplayPort version 1.2 standard to support DisplayPort active cables. DisplayPort active cables can be as much as 5x in length compared to passive cables, providing video systems integrators and home users the ultimate flexibility for designing next-generation home theaters, digital signage and high-definition display configurations. Design specifications are immediately available from VESA for organizations seeking to develop DisplayPort active cables.

Active cables boost and equalize the attenuated DisplayPort signal, allowing cables to reach unprecedented lengths and enabling the use of thinner wire gauges when compared to normal passive cables. The configurations of home theaters and digital signage installations have historically been limited by the display cables connecting the devices. For high-definition display placement, the limits imposed by passive cables meant that short distances were needed to avoid compromised image quality. With the addition of active cables to the DisplayPort standard, cables lengths of more than 100 feet (33 meters) are possible, greatly increasing configuration flexibility in cable routing and equipment placement.

To support organizations considering the development of DisplayPort active cables, VESA has provided guidance on the electrical characteristics needed to ensure interoperability with other DisplayPort products within the DisplayPort 1.2 standard. Additionally, the Association has outlined compliance requirements within VESA’s PHY Compliance Test Specification version 1.2, enabling DisplayPort active cables to be added to the VESA Certification and Logo programs.

Because active cables are directional and require each end to be connected to appropriate devices, VESA has developed a new DisplayPort active cable logo to assist cable users in identifying the source and sink ends of the cable. This new logo will appear on the active cable, as well as product packaging and promotional material, simplifying their use and identification for consumers and developers of all expertise levels.

“Active cables are an important connectivity option for DisplayPort users,” said Gourgen Oganessyan, vice-chair of the VESA Marketing Task Group and staff product marketing engineer at Intersil Corporation. “Active cables are increasingly being used in market segments ranging from industrial display and digital signage, to the home office. Through detailed compliance and test specifications, as well as our logo programs, VESA will ensure robust and consistent quality of these interconnects in the marketplace and interoperability with a wide variety of DisplayPort-enabled products.”

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