DP8K DisplayPort cable certification for 8K displays arrives

VESA has been quite the busy standards body lately. Just a few weeks ago, the organization rolled out a new DisplayHDR spec to promote HDR. Now VESA is setting its sights on 8K resolution displays with a new DP8K cable specification to denote guaranteed support for DisplayPort High Bit Rate 3 (HBR3).

HBR3 is the highest bit rate supported by DisplayPort 1.4. It can hit up to 8.1 gigabits per second, per lane, which is enough to drive 8K resolution video at 60 frames per second over a single cable. The bandwidth is also beneficial for running multiple 4K displays.

"As display resolution, refresh rate and color space continue to grow, we see strong adoption of HBR3 on displays, discrete graphics card and mobile PC platforms. HBR3 certified cables facilitate a seamless connectivity experience to end users," said Syed Athar Hussain, VESA board vice chairman and AMD Senior Display Domain Fellow. "DisplayPort HBR3 has enabled support for 8K and novel wide-aspect resolutions, such as 3840×1080, at refresh rates of 144Hz and beyond for HDR gaming."

It will be some time before 8K resolution displays become commonplace, though it appears that is the next big frontier after 4K. The DP8K spec follows LG's recent unveiling of an 88-inch 8K OLED television, which it plans to show off at CES next week.

"Since we first launched our HBR3 Certification Program nearly a year ago, more than 20 DisplayPort devices have undergone HBR3 certification, including sources, sinks, docks, and now, cables. With DP8K Certified DisplayPort cables, a single-port solution for 8K displays is finally attainable. DP8K Certified cables provide added assurance of smooth operation and full compliance at the higher HBR3 link rate," added James Choate, compliance program manager for VESA.

DP8K is sort of a stopgap solution before the next major DisplayPort revision. VESA says it's currently working with its members in developing a next-generation DisplayPort standard. The goal is to at least double the data rate enabled by DisplayPort. VESA expects to publish the update within the next 18 months.

While it seems a bit early to look beyond 8K, VESA sees AR and VR experiences continuing to create a need for higher resolutions. That's probably true, though 4K has proven enough of a challenge for today's graphics hardware. We'll have to wait and see if Volta (Nvidia) and Navi (AMD) change that.