DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0 will allow 16K video output over USB 4 Type-C ports
The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) recently released version 2.0 of the DisplayPort Alternate Mode (Alt Mode) standard which enables up to 16K video output over USB 4 Type-C ports. As a report from AnandTech explains, the new standard remaps USB Type-C‘s high-speed data pins to unlock more bandwidth for videos, resulting in a maximum raw bandwidth of up to 80Gbps. This is accomplished by reconfiguring a 4 lane USB 4 connection into a 2 or 4 lane DisplayPort connection and driving DisplayPort signals over high-speed lanes which would otherwise be carrying USB 4 signals.
In a statement regarding the new standard, Craig Wiley, senior director of marketing at Parade Technologies, VESA board member, and DisplayPort Alt Mode sub-group leader, was quoted saying, “VESA’s updated DisplayPort Alt Mode spec includes a number of under-the-hood developments — including updates to interface discovery and configuration as well as power management — to ensure seamless integration with the USB 4 specification…This major undertaking, which was several years in the making, could only be made possible through the combined efforts of VESA and the USB-IF. Through our latest collaboration with the USB-IF, VESA is now taking care of everything related to high-performance displays over USB-C, whether through a native DisplayPort or USB-C connector, or through tunneling of DisplayPort over the native USB 4 interface.”
For the unaware, USB 4 relies on a 2-up/2-down configuration to form a bidirectional connection. Since video signals don’t need to go both ways, DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0 can take over all four lanes. In essence, this means that a DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0 connection will be as capable as a regular DisplayPort 2.0 connection as far as connectivity and bandwidth are concerned.
Additionally, the new standard doesn’t require users to have a USB 4 controller on either end of the cable, which means that you’ll be able to use your existing monitors with DisplayPort hardware without upgrading to a USB 4 supported monitor. For a more detailed explanation of all that the new standard entails, you can check out AnandTech’s coverage from the link below.