Yesterday, 22 September 2014, VESA and the USB consortium announced the DisplayPort Alternate Mode for the USB Type-C standard. We are now closer than ever to a single-port docking solution for anything that’s not a gaming laptop. Finally, I might add.
Reading the feature list of this new Alt Mode feels much like reading a letter to Santa: a reversible connector, 25.92 Gb/s of bandwidth to be split between A/V signal and USB3.1 data, and up to 100W of power all rolled in a single awesome connection.
The new connection mode will use the DisplayPort 1.3 version of the standard, enabling 4k video feeds to reach 120fps at 8 bit per channel, or 96fps at 10 bit per channel. Of note is the possibility to also run 8k displays at 60fps, although only by using the 4:2:0 pixel format, which has been used in television since the heyday of NTSC all the way to Blu-ray discs. That should therefore pose no problem at all if you want to use your 8k television only to watch movies.
Multi-Stream functionality remains in version 1.3, and Adaptive Sync is now a standard feature. Compatibility with DockPort hubs and Thunderbolt connectors is retained.
Products including the Alt Mode are expected to hit the market next year.