ST-Ericsson and STMicroelectronics demo MYDP

Display Port for mobile devices with a trick up its sleeve

ALTHOUGH THERE’S NO real problem as such with today’s micro HDMI connector found on many mobile devices, a better alternative has been co-developed by ST-Ericsson and STMicroelectronics which relies on the royalty free DisplayPort standard. This might seem as an odd move in a way, but let us explain the advantages of what the MYDP standard has to offer over HDMI.

For starters, the MYDP (Mobility DisplayPort) interface doesn’t specify the connector type which makes it up to the device makers to use whatever connector they want. This might not sound like a great idea, but solution from ST-Ericsson and STMicroelectronics features a MUX that allows the DisplayPort signal share the signaling with USB and as such the standard micro USB port can be used for both DisplayPort and USB connectivity.

Add to that the ability to at least initially trickle charge your device when it’s connected to a display and you got an interesting differentiation compared to micro HDMI. Of course, as the MYDP spec is fully DisplayPort compatible to the 1.2 standard, minus the AUX channel as it’s a little bit too complex to implement due to the high data rates already being used for the DisplayPort interface. By now you’re probably saying that DisplayPort is pointless when it comes to consumer devices, as TVs use HDMI, well, yes, but that’s not really going to be an issue either.

Because their standard doesn’t specify the physical connector and even if the device manufacturer decides to go with a standard micro USB port you’ll need a custom cable. As the DisplayPort standard allows for active adaptors, it’s not a huge challenge for the device maker to supply cables that convert the DisplayPort output to HDMI, DVI or even analogue VGA/D-Sub. ST-Ericsson and STMicroelectronics even have a solution with a tiny active adaptor inside and will of course provide this solution to interested partners as well as the bits that go inside the devices.

The last and maybe most important thing to point out is that ST-Ericsson and STMicroelectronics submitted the standard to VESA for it to become part of the DisaplyPort standard. This would be a significant boon to the MYDP specification if it happens and it would be one of the things what would help drive it to replace micro HDMI as the standard display connector on mobile devices. Of course, being royalty free is likely to make it a popular choice among the more cost conscious device makers. The only really bad news is that the first production silicon won’t sample until Q3 this year, so don’t expect to see any devices with MYDP until next year at the earliest.S|A

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