New Display Standard Takes Shape

Almost 20 years after its birth, the ubiquitous VGA video interface may soon become an endangered species.

A group of leading PC and consumer electronics firms, including Intel, Apple, LG Electronics and Samsung, have come together to develop a next generation video display specification to replace VGA.

The new unified display interface (UDI) will work with both PCs and consumer electronics devices, said the companies, which created a special interest group to support UDI. The specification is expected to be finalized in the second half of 2006, the companies said recently in a statement.

UDI’s backers claim the new specification will offer performance and other improvements over existing display standards and pave the way for the eventual extinction of VGA.

UDI is expected to enable integrated graphics controllers that have more bandwidth and are cheaper to produce.

UDI is expected to be fully compatible with the HD-TV HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) as well as the DVI interface that reigns on LCD flat screens.

UDI will also support High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) digital rights management technology.

“Next-generation content will drive new and exciting consumer experiences, and UDI can reduce the technical complexity associated with this shift,” said Eric Schmidt, group product manager of Windows Digital Media at Microsoft Corp in a statement.

“With HDMI compatibility, UDI gives Windows-based PCs the flexibility to be used in commercial or consumer applications by interfacing with both PC and TV displays. We plan to support UDI in our operating system platforms.”

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