Apple's Mini DisplayPort Standard Specified - InformationWeek

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Apple's Mini DisplayPort Standard Specified

The Video Electronics Standards Association standardized hardware for hooking displays to devices that need a small connector, such as thin laptops.

The Video Electronics Standards Association on Tuesday issued the Mini DisplayPort standard for hooking displays to devices that need a small connector, such as thin laptops and add-in cards with multiple interfaces.

The mDP supports the full range of power, signaling and protocol capabilities defined in the standard DisplayPort version 1, revision 1 a, VESA said. The mDP, originally developed by Apple, defines the mechanical dimensions of the connector and the supporting cable assemblies and adaptors.

Apple used the mDP in place of the Digital Video Interface in the MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro and the Cinema Display monitor. The standard offers a much smaller connector than DVI or VGA, while providing full-function display output. The mDP is particularly useful in thin laptops and netbooks.

Apple announced late last year that it would license the mDP to VESA with no fee. The standards body in January said the mDP would be included in the upcoming DisplayPort 1.2 specification.

DisplayPort 1.2 doubles available bandwidth from its predecessor to 21.6 Gb per second. The increased bandwidth enables new capabilities, such as multi-monitor support via a single output connector and higher resolutions, refresh rates and color depths. The greater bandwidth also enables high-performance 3D displays.

The mDP is not yet widely used among hardware manufacturers. One user besides Apple is Collins America, which makes the CinemaView displays for the Mac Pro, MacBooks, Mac Mini and Apple TV. The 24-inch display, released this year, costs $499, versus $899 for the same size Cinema Display from Apple.

The mDP standard can be downloaded free of charge from VESA.

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