Blog Post

Apple Providing Free DisplayPort Licenses

Ars Technica are reporting that Apple has taken the decision to offer no-fee licenses to companies that develop products utilizing the DisplayPort connection, with the aim of accelerating the port’s ascension to a ‘de facto’ standard. Having recently announced that they will be transitioning their entire hardware lineup to DisplayPort, Apple is firmly backing the new standard.

DisplayPort does have several advantages over older standards such as DVI, based on more open protocols and reducing the need for control circuits built in to displays. It’s easier to use as a plug (not requiring thumbscrews), offers the possibility of connecting multiple monitors and also works well in computers where space is an important factor (the slimline MacBook Air for instance).

As with FireWire, Apple is one of the first companies to heavily push the new standard by integrating it into their lineup. FireWire suffered from a lack of development at the outset due to expensive licensing fees, allowing USB to take off as the most common connectivity standard. This move suggests that Apple is learning from past errors, attempting to push the new technology and reduce the cost to developers.

Gaining the support of hardware developers for the new standard is an important move for Apple, as it could help to provide connectivity in areas which Apple hasn’t yet ventured into. The possibility of connecting your Mac to a HDTV, for instance, is a widely demanded feature by new adopters. If you are a developer interested in the new standard, it is worth reading Apple’s announcement.

With recent laptop releases lacking FireWire 400, Apple has essentially marked an end to the format they originally pioneered. Hopefully the same won’t be true in another few years with DisplayPort.

7 Responses to “Apple Providing Free DisplayPort Licenses”

  1. I do wish we would learn from our mistakes though.

    Why cant we have a connector, not unlike this, that has the ability, if required, to be locked.

    All it would take is the provision of some locking lugs, not unlike the old iPod dock connector, you squeeze the side to release.

    Nothing worse than running connectors just to have them pull out because they cannot lock into place.

    Take it from someone in Europe that has used SCART connectors for years, they dont lock and always fall out due to the weight of the cable.

    Locking as an option people!!!!

  2. Apple should do something similar for Ethernet connectors. The RJ-45 is a disgrace. Designed to attach to the back of desktop PCs and rarely disconnected, it’s large, clumsy, and a pain to unplug. With just four connections to make, it’s ripe for something much smaller and easier to use. And despite the popularity of WiFi, there are many, many situations where a wired connection is necessary for security, user density, or high-bandwidth traffic.

    Apple should create something clever, support it as a standard, and release the specs for anyone to use. Something that self-disconnects like MagSafe would be particularly nice. A new connector would make it easier to link various digital lifestyle gadgets. I wouldn’t wish an RJ-45 on my worst enemy.

  3. Gazoobee

    You might want to change the picture on this article, to an actual picture of a mini display port adapter since that’s what the article is actually about. Just sayin.