It’s been almost two years since the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) first released its DisplayPort 2.0 specifications, promising support for 8K monitors, higher refresh rates and more. The first displays with DisplayPort 2.0 were due to arrive in late 2020, but VESA now says it expects the devices to ship later this year.
“Monitors that support DisplayPort 2.0 are currently under development, but none have been launched yet,” a VESA spokesman explained in a statement to The Verge. “DisplayPort 2.0 is now working on new system chips to be displayed in products later in 2021
The delay is due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Hardware developers and engineers usually gather a couple of times a year for a Plug Test event. These incidents are where several companies test systems and work on interoperability issues. “By 2020, VESA had no PlugTests, which has slowed the distribution of DisplayPort 2.0,” a VESA spokesman explained. “VESA is now planning our next PlugTest this spring in Taiwan, so we expect to get this process going again.”
DisplayPort 2.0 is important not only for 8K, but also for launching improved refresh rates and higher resolution HDR support. The new standard will technically support up to 80 Gbps max, almost three times what is currently available in the DisplayPort 1.4 specification. In reality, this will allow game monitors to run at full 4K resolution of 144Hz or more, and HDR support without compression.
A number of game monitors are beginning to bridge the gap with Display Stream Compression (DSC), which compresses UHD streams without a noticeable drop in visual quality. DisplayPort 2.0 also supports the following:
Single display resolutions:
- One 16K (15360 x 8460) monitor @ 60Hz and 30 bpp 4: 4: 4 HDR (with DSC)
- One 10K (10240 x 4320) monitor @ 60Hz and 24 bpp 4: 4: 4 (no compression)
- Two 8K (7680 x 4320) monitors @ 120Hz and 30 bpp 4: 4: 4 HDR (with DSC)
- Two 4K (3840 x 2160) monitors @ 144Hz and 24 bpp 4: 4: 4 (no compression)
Triple screen resolutions:
- Three 10K (10240 x 4320) monitors @ 60Hz and 30 bpp 4: 4: 4 HDR (with DSC)
- Three 4K (3840 x 2160) monitors @ 90Hz and 30 bpp 4: 4: 4 HDR (no compression)
DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0 also brings all these features to USB Type-C connectors, just as the industry is preparing for USB 4. While we await the arrival of DisplayPort 2.0, HDMI 2.1 monitors are starting to appear more often. A number of manufacturers have unveiled new monitors at CES this week, but most have chosen not to price their HDMI 2.1 monitors.
Acer is the only exception, with a $ 899 price tag for the Nitro XV28, a 28-inch 4K display with an IPS display, HDMI 2.1 support and a 144Hz refresh rate with FreeSync Premium. The HDMI 2.1 specification is also capable of 8K video at 60Hz, along with support for 10K resolution video. 8K monitors are still incredibly rare.