DisplayPort’s Multi-Monitor Feature Saves Power and Money

DisplayPort’s killer feature may be its ability to support multi-display monitors from a single digital output port and provide full display performance with zero latency, while consuming less power and costing less than other multi-monitor solutions.

By Ji Park and Henry Zeng, IDT

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Video/Imaging DesignWire
(11/13/2009 4:00:37 PM)

DisplayPort’s Multi-Monitor Solution
Is there one solution that can overcome all of these challenges but still provide a multi-monitor solution that is easy to use at a reasonable cost? Yes, the multi-monitor solution enabled by DisplayPort technology.

With DisplayPort technology and its micro-packet architecture, multi-monitor displays can be supported in two ways – with a DisplayPort adapter in a hub architecture or in a daisy-chain cascaded fashion along a single link. System implementation can be integrated into a monitor, motherboard or docking station.

The micro-packet architecture enables the transport of multiple audio and video streams and other data types concurrently, which enables multiple video and audio packets to be transmitted on the same cable. By using this micro-packet architecture, together with the 10.8 Gbps link speed, DisplayPort enables picture-in-picture or multiple daisy-chained monitors through a single connection as well as a hub implementation.

Although DisplayPort1.2 will address multi-monitor display support as the key feature in the spec, solutions that support daisy chain and hub operation are based on and fully comply with today’s DisplayPort 1.1 standard.

Daisy Chain vs. Hub
There are two ways to implement DisplayPort’s multi-monitor display solution – daisy chain or hub.

In daisy chain or cascade mode, the output from a DisplayPort PC source is connected to subsequent monitors in a single link. The monitor contains the DisplayPort receiving and DisplayPort transmitting function.

Figure 2: Daisy Chain Mode

In hub mode, you have a single DisplayPort input coming in from a PC source that fans out into two or more displays. This would require a stand-alone dongle adapter that can service the existing set of PC equipment and DisplayPort-enabled monitors.

Figure 3: Hub Mode

NEXT: Comparing DisplayPort with Other Solutions

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