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Display Stream Compression standard boosts display interfaces to 8K

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By eeNews Europe


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Developed as an industry-wide compression standard for video interfaces, offering visually lossless performance and low latency, the DSC has been adopted into VESA’s embedded DisplayPort (eDP) v1.4 and into MIPI Display Serial Interface (DSI) Specification v1.2, which are used for embedded display interfaces within mobile systems, including smartphones, tablets and laptops.


Increasing display resolution and higher refresh rates present challenges for small-display mobile devices and laptops, as well as large external displays. As display resolutions increase, the interface payload capacity must increase either with more power-consuming bandwidth, video data compression, or both.


Displays going beyond 4K resolutions will push the video data rate beyond the current limits of the interface standards. For example, standard 1080p displays require a video data rate of 3.5 gigabits/sec; 4K displays at 60Hz require 14 Gb/s; and future 8K displays will require over 50 Gb/s.

On-going development of DisplayPort standards, which includes 8K resolution support, foresaw the need for compression because of inherent limits in the existing display interface cables.


VESA’s DSC standard version 1.0 enables up to 66 percent data rate reduction, extending battery life in mobile systems and laptops, while simplifying the electrical interface requirements for future 4K and 8K displays. The standard enables a single codec for system chips that have multiple interfaces.”


The VESA DSC Task Group, in collaboration with the MIPI Alliance Display Working Group, co-defined requirements for a high quality compression specification that meets the needs of today’s varied display usage, which includes a wide range of image types from still graphics and text overlaps, to photography and video.


The new coding system also addresses usage on a wide variety of display types, sizes and viewing conditions. The DSC encoding algorithm is based on delta pulse code modulation (DPCM), an Indexed Color History (ICH), an entropy encoder and a rate buffer that guarantees video data throughput for any possible display content.

The DSC standard is available free to VESA members and for $350 for non-members. For additional technical information on DSC, please see the VESA Display Stream Compression” white paper at https://www.vesa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/VESA_DSC-ETP200.pdf.

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