Death to VGA! No, not Spike’s painfully lame Video Game Awards (although those could also use the axe) but the analog video connector that’s been a staple of PCs for decades. Intel aims to accelerate the adoption of DisplayPort and HDMI video interfaces, and in the process, it’s looking to cut the cord not only on VGA ports, but also the digital LVDS interface that connects most laptops to their displays. The chip giant’s products will cease supporting LVDS in 2013, and VGA support will be phased out two years after that.
Lest you think Intel is alone in its bid to rid PCs of their old-school D-sub connectors, it’s being joined by Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, LG, and even AMD. The world’s #2 CPU maker intends to follow a schedule similar to Intel’s, eliminating LVDS support in 2013 and phasing out VGA by 2015.
Old standards tend die out slowly on the PC—just look at how long we’ve kept around PCI slots and PS/2 ports—so it’s no surprise that VGA will remain on life support for a few more years. I can’t wait to see it go away for good, though. Over the years, I’ve encountered numerous graphics cards and IGP-equipped motherboards with lousy VGA output quality. With CRTs fading further into obscurity and even budget LCDs increasingly sporting HDMI ports, there seems to be little need to hang onto the old analog standard.
LVDS at least has a digital interface on its side, but as Intel points out, DisplayPort is a much better and more power-efficient design. I suspect it’s being phased out first because the interface is an internal one that laptop users never or connect to other devices. Dropping LVDS support from notebook parts will hardly inconvenience end users, who are unlikely to notice the difference.