The Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 2, DisplayPort and miniDisplayPort are on the market but it looks like the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has just announced that it is working on defining a micro-DisplayPort standard which will still be backward-compatible with existing DisplayPort and mini-DisplayPort devices and offer beyond 4K Ultra HD connectivity for phones, tablets, and ultra-portables.
VESA won’t solely concentrate on the port itself. Instead, it will be figuring out the final design for the docking connector, receptacle, and cable as well. The new standard is “designed to support data rates for future display bandwidths beyond today’s 4K resolutions” as VESA states, while another goal is to support passive cables up to 1.5m ( 5 feet ) in length, without requiring any sort of repeater or other active component, tech which would be particularly important in smartphones and other portable devices.
The micro-DisplayPort will also allow laptop, tablet and smartphone manufacturers to make even thinner devices. That said, it remains to be seen how Apple and Intel will respond to the smaller connection. Currently, the Thunderbolt technology used on the Mac line-up, with a full six Thunderbolt 2 ports, relies on a mini-DisplayPort connector, which is also backward-compatible with traditional DisplayPort monitors.
A switch to micro-DisplayPort could allow Apple to trim its notebooks even further, and looking at the MacBook Pro 13″ with Retina Display for instance, having a spec of just 3.46 pounds and 0.71-inches thick, who knows how light or thin they could get if the micro-DisplayPort gets standardized.
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