Earlier this year (right at the beginning, in fact), we brought news that the Video Electronics Standard Association (VESA) might potentially make the Mini DisplayPort standard, meaning that manufacturers outside of Apple can now use it in their products without Apple’s approval, including rival computer makers, among others.
The Mini DisplayPort (mDP) standard is described as a smaller form factor of the DisplayPort connector itself. The smaller connector is aimed at devices like thin portable computes and add-in cards that need to support multiple display interfaces. Hopefully, display and display accessory makers will adopt the standard, reducing the need to purchase expensive Apple-branded adapters.
The new mDP is for Version 1, Revision 1a of the standard, though DisplayPort 1.2 including mDP is in the works, which will double the available bandwidth of the cable tech to 21.6 Gb/second. That would mean that multi-monitor support via a single cable would be feasible, as well as higher resolutions and improved color depth and refresh rates. 3-D displays necessary for demanding graphical applications could also be supported with the new version of the standard.
As a result of this new standard creation by VESA, we could see a flood of mDP-toting computing devices, or we could see very little change at all. As with FireWire, many computer makers might opt to skip mDP or DP in favor of more established technologies like DVI and VGA, since they are more widely available and don’t necessitate a change to manufacturing processes. The one thing mDP has going for it is its size, and makers of MacBook Air competitors will probably be the first to bite, if anyone does.