DISPLAYLINK HAD a beta version of their monitor over USB3 hardware running on the floor of IDF this year, and some other goodies too. Just because USB3 is on the horizon doesn’t mean USB2 devices are standing still.
Update: Got the company name right this time. Thanks unnamed person.
Displaylink has a simple idea, plug in a monitor to any USB port, and I can say from personal experience, it works easily and well out of the box. The USB2 versions are bandwidth limited, so resolution was limited to 1440 * 900. Until a faster interface came out, that was the best you could get.
Enter USB3. The big news from IDF is that the bunch of circuit boards that were on display at CES are now in a nice tidy box. It isn’t the same sized dongle as their USB2 devices, but it is ten times faster and much better behaved. Luckily it will also be much smaller soon.
30″ monitor capable now
The new box can do 2560 * 1600 rez, enough for any monitor out there, or two 1080p panels from one USB3 port. Displaylink will also pass six channel audio and do HDCP 2.0 (HDMI is only v1.3 capable though).
Basically, it will be a real monitor interface capable of everything you would expect from a DVI port. As a nice touch, Displaylink plays nice with USB3, it uses standard signaling and can share the bandwidth with other devices. Once it gets shrunk to consumer sizes, it is going to be a killer add-on.
Zero client over USB
The highlight of the USB2 devices was a thin/zero client over USB. This device is aimed at the education market, and can support 10 hyperactive kids on one MS Multiport Server 2010. Now you can get an entire class of kids infected with porn malware at once, talk about progress!
Back to the hardware, there are three compelling features of this kind of box. The first is that the boxes are bus powered, no electrical cables, just USB. Since it is USB2, you can have much longer cables, a necessity for classrooms. On top of it all, these boxes are cheap, $90 or less, so you can outfit an entire classroom with them for less than the MS tax. The more things change, the less MS gets it.S|A