updated 03:10 pm EST, Mon January 18, 2010
DP 1.2 spec includes Mini DisplayPort
The VESA group today officially released DisplayPort 1.2, its large revamp to the modern display standard. Officially just an extension, it has double the data rate of the original (now 21.6Gbps) and can handle tasks that would have been impossible with 1.1a. It can handle 3D, color depths higher than 24-bit and faster frame rates. More important, however, is multi-streaming: a single cable can output two 2560x1600 displays at full frame rate or four 1920x1200 screens.
It could similarly drive a lone 3840x2400 display using a single cable instead of the adapters needed for earlier screens.
The data channel introduced with DisplayPort has also been expanded dramatically from just 1Mbps before to 720Mbps with 1.2. Doing so gives USB 2.0 more than enough bandwidth to run at full speed over the display cable and would give it full Dolby or DTS audio as well as headroom for webcams, 100Mbps Ethernet and other technology that would normally need a separate cable.
VESA promises that the 1.2 spec is backwards compatible with earlier devices and that the Apple-developed Mini DisplayPort connector will also still work, although without many of the 1.2-specific features.
No mention has been made of how soon the updated standard will reach shipping products. Most of its benefits will require new devices, however.