DisplayLink is a clever company with some slick technology. They can connect a TV or computer monitor to a USB port, and deliver the image across the connection. Actually, they came up with the technology and the chips that do the magic, but then they let other companies build the computer monitors or adapter devices that can actually make the connection. You can find out more about these products at their Web site at www.displaylink.com.
But what caught my eye was their announcement yesterday of their new DL-3000 and DL-1000 single chip solutions for the new, high-speed USB 3.0 connections. Backwards compatible with USB 2.0, the device can make a high-speed bidirectional connection between a signal source and a display. It can connect using a digital HDMI connector or an analog VGA connector. Or it can connect over a gigabit Ethernet cable connection. With Ethernet, it can simultaneously send the high definition images as well as interactive data such as streaming content from the Internet or “zero client” sharing of a computer processor and its resources. And if the display’s power requirements are low enough, it can be powered by the USB connection. (There were two such prototype computer monitors on display at the Society for Information Display conference last May in Seattle.) This means that a single USB or Ethernet cable can carry all the data and power needed for a computer monitor or television.
The system can support two displays with a single chip, and can handle 3D images and HDCP for protected content. It can work with VGA, DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort connections. It can even handle multi-channel audio streams along with everything else. You don’t need a graphics adapter when you use this interface, and the display can be supported with just a single, thin cable. This could lead to new designs for desktop computers, notebook docking stations, portable media devices, and much more.
According to the company’s press release, you can expect the first products with this new technology to appear in the first half of next year. Stay tuned….