WHAT DO YOU do when the next generation display interface refuses to become the standard, despite all its apparent advantages? Well, if you’re Chrontel, then you make bridge chips that allow for the new interface, in this case DisplayPort, to be fitted to the graphics card, while the panel manufacturers can continue to churn out panels with LVDS or mini-LVDS interfaces.
We’re actually not sure why the panel manufacturers are so reluctant to move over to DisplayPort, as it offers a range of benefits over LVDS, such as higher bandwidth, improved colour depth, simplified internal interface and some other interesting features like the return channel. We’ll be doing some digging into this matter at Display Taiwan which takes place a few days after Computex, but let’s get back to the subject at hand.
DisplayPort is a great interface, but sadly there aren’t enough devices supporting it yet for it to become a standard. Contrary to what most people know, DisplayPort supports both external as well as internal display connectivity. It’s being touted as making the life of notebook manufacturers easier, as they only need to implement a single interface, instead of two or three different ones as is the case in most notebooks today. So far the only big name that seems to support DisplayPort exclusively is Apple.
Chrontel’s new bridge chips allow panel makers to easily add support for DisplayPort connectivity. Considering the resolution limit of 1680×1050 pixels we have a feeling that these chips will have a somewhat limited appeal outside of the notebook market. However, at $1.80 a chip the CH7508 and CH7509, as the bridge chips are called, are quite affordable as these things go, and hopefully Chrontel is working on some improved versions already that will add support for higher resolutions. The new products aren’t listed on Chrontel’s website as yet, but should hopefully appear there shortly,
Most consumer notebooks feature 1366×768 displays today, with some having 1600×900 resolution, but you do of course get 1920×1080 on high-end models. Both AMD’s and Nvidia’s GPUs support DisplayPort connectivity, but it’s fairly obviously that there’s a shortage of both desktop as well as notebook displays with support for the new interface. Hopefully this is something that will change shortly, but we’re not going to get our hopes up, since the good old D-Sub connector is still alive and well and until it’s killed off, we’re most likely not going to see a huge shift in focus from the panel makers.S|A
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