As well as doubling the data rate of the existing v1.1a standard to 21.6 Gbps, the update allows for multiple monitors to be connected to a single Displayport connector and adds support for transporting USB data at up to 720Mbps, enabling embedded webcams, speakers and USB hubs over a single cable. Ethernet data is also supported
To achieve the 21.6 Gbps rate, the per-lane data rate across each of the four lanes has doubled from 2.7Gbps to 5.4Gbps. For a single display, this enables a single display with a resolution of up to 3840x2400 at 60Hz, or four monitors at 1920 x 1200, or alternatively a 3D display at 120Hz and 2560x1600, as this will effectively use two streams simultaneously.
The improved data rate will allow for richer, larger and higher resolution displays and the new version is also backward compatible with the current display technology, so all the ports, cables and devices will be interchangeable, although they will revert to the lowest common denominator.
"Displayport Version v1.2 offers a complete set of benefits and capabilities that no other standard can provide. It is completely backward compatible with DisplayPort v1.1a and requires no new cables or other equipment, making it the standard of choice across the industry," said Bill Lempesis, executive director of VESA.
With HDMI becoming increasingly common, Displayport has been slow to become a widely used connection interface, however Lempesis reckons that it is "a truly open, flexible, extensible multimedia interconnect standard" and "is rapidly gaining traction in consumer electronics applications."
Displayport v1.2 also adds new audio enhancements including multiple channels, video synchronisation assistance and support for high definition audio formats such as Dolby MAT, DTS HD, Blu-Ray and the DRA standard from China, as well as the RIAA friendly Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) copy protection and category codes.
For those wanting to jump on the 3D band wagon there is improved support for Full HD 3D Stereoscopic displays, which provides a full HD image at 120 frames-per-second for each eye, in whichever 3D format you like including field sequential, side by side, pixel interleaved, dual interface, and stacked.
Although no time scales have been given, now that the updated standard has been given the go ahead it shouldn't be too long until devices making use of these new features start tipping up.