Intel plans to support VESA Adaptive-Sync displays

— 5:20 PM on August 19, 2015

IDF — In a Q&A session this afternoon, I asked Intel Fellow and Chief Graphics Software Architect David Blythe about Intel's position on supporting the VESA Adaptive-Sync standard for variable refresh displays. (This is the standard perhaps better known as AMD's FreeSync.)

Blythe indicated that Intel is positively inclined toward standards-based solutions like Adaptive-Sync, and he said Intel does indeed plan to support this optional extension to the DisplayPort spec. However, Blythe wasn't yet willing to commit to a timetable for Intel enabling Adaptive-Sync support in its products.

The question of a timetable is complicated by whether Intel's GPU hardware will require an update in order to enable Adaptive-Sync capability. A source familiar with the matter has indicated to us that this feature is not present in current hardware, so in all likelihood, Adaptive-Sync support will have to wait until at least after the Skylake generation of products.

Supporting Adaptive-Sync would be a natural next step for Intel, whose integrated graphics processors stand to benefit tremendously from displays with a more forgiving and flexible refresh cycle. Intel's backing would also be a big boost for the Adaptive-Sync standard, since the firm ships by far the largest proportion of PC graphics solutions.

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