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Wednesday, December 21, 2005
HDMI Alternative Proposed For Next-generation PC Components


PC and consumer electronics companies are reportedly working to develop a specification, referred to as the unified display interface (UDI), that is intended to serve as the next-generation digital display interface standard for PCs.

The UDI could be considered as a PC version of the HDMI interface that is currently used in many CE devices and will be the core data interface for next generation DVD players and HDTVs.

UDI is targeted to become the new display interface for desktop PCs, workstations, notebook PCs and PC monitors, replacing the aging VGA analog standard. The new interface will be compatible with today's DVI standard. Further, as planned, the UDI specification will be fully compatible with HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface), the standard digital interface for High Definition TVs (HDTVs) and advanced CE displays.

UDI will also use High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) technology widely deployed in HDMI-compatible products today. As a result, host platforms with UDI connectors will be able to plug into monitors and HDMI-equipped display devices including HDTVs with full content-use rights management and high-definition video compatibility.

For end users, UDI will provide a universal video connection from the computer host to the display, including PC and notebook monitors, HDTVs and projectors. For PC and monitor makers, UDI will enable integration with both discrete and integrated graphics controllers, letting OEMs build computer platforms and all-digital LCD monitors that are lower in cost and higher in bandwidth.

UDI-compatible PCs, notebooks and workstations will have the ability to display the latest digital content in various high-definition modes, including those meeting new high-definition optical disc standards.

A Special Interest Group (SIG) of industry leaders has been formed to develop and continue revising the UDI specification. Principal members of the SIG include Apple, Intel Corp., LG Electronics, National Semiconductor Corp., Samsung Electronics and Silicon Image Inc. Joining the SIG as contributors are graphics chip maker NVIDIA Corp., semiconductor manufacturer THine Electronics Inc., and cable and connector makers FCI, Foxconn Electronics Inc. and JAE Electronics Inc.

UDI SIG members are seeking more industry participants to help validate and refine the display interface specification, which is currently in revision 0.8. The UDI SIG expects to have the specification completed (version 1.0) in the second quarter of 2006.

The UDI SIG is consistent with other standard PC industry initiatives with all adopters agreeing to license their essential IP on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. In addition, core protocol and interface IP (TMDS) is available on a reciprocal, royalty-free basis.


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