Embedded DisplayPort 1.4a sets stage for 8K notebooks

VESA has released a new Embedded DisplayPort standard that supports higher resolutions and a new panel segmentation system. The eDP 1.4a spec builds upon version 1.4, which dates back to 2013, and it's expected to appear in systems by next year.

As one might expect, the new standard comes with a higher data rate. The link speed has been boosted to 8.1Gbps, giving the four-lane interface 32.4Gbps of total bandwidth. Support for version 1.1 of VESA's Display Stream Compression Standard has also been added. Taken together, these upgrades enable 8K notebook displays with 7680x4320 pixel arrays.

Source: VESA

Embedded DisplayPort 1.4a also includes a new operating mode for "segmented panel displays." Dubbed Multi-SST Operation, or MSO, this provision can divide the interface's lanes between two or four independent segments, each with its own timing controller and source drivers. This scheme differs from Multi-Stream Transport, otherwise known as MST, which doesn't tie streams to specific lanes.

MSO was proposed by Samsung, which claims the approach will enable cheaper, thinner, and more power-efficient displays. Let's hope it avoids some of the issues that plagued early 4K monitors with MST setups.

Upgrades to eDP's Panel Self Refresh system are part of the new specification, as well, but there's no mention of changes to Adaptive Sync. Support for variable refresh rates presumably remains an optional component of the standard.

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