Mini DisplayPort becomes a real standard

When Apple unveiled its aluminum MacBooks in 2008, it broke new ground on several fronts, offering users aluminum unibody enclosures, multi-touch glass touch pads... and a new display connector of its own design: Mini DisplayPort.

Just over a year on, the Video Electronics Standards Association has adopted Mini DisplayPort as an official standard. VESA introduced the full-sized connector over three years ago as part of the DisplayPort 1.0 spec, but it never came up with a more diminutive design for mobile and handheld devices. Apple ended up licensing Mini DisplayPort (a.k.a. mDP) to VESA earlier this year, the organization says.

The new connector supports "the full range of power, signaling and protocol capabilities defined in the DisplayPort Standard Version 1, Revision 1a," and VESA will officially include it as part of the upcoming DisplayPort 1.2 specification. The DisplayPort 1.2 spec will also double maximum bandwidth to 21.6Gbps (2.7GB/s), allowing for "new capabilities such as multi-monitor support via a single output connector, higher resolutions, refresh rates and color depths, along with high performance 3D displays."

Outside of ultrathin laptops and mobile devices, the mDP connector's small size should also help AMD with the upcoming Eyefinity6 Radeon HD 5870. That graphics card will have a whopping six display connectors.

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