VESA unveils new DisplayPort 2.1 standard that supports longer cables

Mike Wheatley

The Video Electronics Standards Association, better known as VESA, has announced a new DisplayPort 2.1 standard that will eventually supersede the existing DisplayPort 2.0 specification.


The new standard does not add any significant new functionality, with the focus of the update instead being on support for much longer cable lengths. One good thing, at least, is that the new standard is backward compatible with all existing products that come with DisplayPort 2.0 ports.

In a press release, VESA said it has worked closely with association member companies to ensure that all products which support the DisplayPort 2.0 standard will meet the “newer, more demanding” DisplayPort 2.1 specification. Because of these efforts, it said, all previously certified DisplayPort 2.0 products, including Ultra-high Bit Rate products such as GPUs, docking station chips, monitor scalar chips,PHY repeater chips and DP40/DP80 cables, have also been certified to meet DisplayPort 2.1’s stricter criteria.

What this means for consumers is that DisplayPort should provide an improved performance when handling very high bandwidths of 4K, HDR, 8K, 10K and even 16K resolution, VESA said. The high-speed link should now also work better with both DisplayPort and USB cables.

The real benefit however is that DisplayPort 2.1 will enable “improved connectivity and longer cable lengths,” VESA said. The maximum lengths supported will go beyond two metres for DP40 cables, and over one metre for DP80 cables, without any impact on bandwidth.

“DisplayPort 2.1 brings DisplayPort into convergence with USB4 PHY specifications to ensure the highest video performance across a broad range of consumer products,” said VESA Board Chair and VESA DisplayPort Task Group Chair Alan Kobayashi. “Display transport through DisplayPort, with its higher bit rates and proven visual quality of DSC compression even for HDR content, offers ample bandwidth for the needs of virtually every practical application.”

Until now, the uptake of the DisplayPort 2.0 standard has been fairly slow in the industry, so VESA is clearly hoping that the new improvements will lead to more rapid adoption in newer consumer products.