DisplayPort AltMode 2.0: USB 4 compatibility, two 8K displays or one 16K display & more

Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) today unveiled DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0 with support for the new USB4 protocol, two simultaneous 8K displays, a single 16K display, 80 Gbps video data throughput or 40 Gbps with simultaneous SuperSpeed USB data delivery.

In other words, the new DisplayPort AltMode 2.0 standard enables all of the latest capabilities of the DisplayPort 2.0 protocol through the USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 connector, including USB power and data delivery, display resolutions greater than 8K and higher refresh rates. For example, DisplayPort 2.0 Alt Mode supports up to 16K resolution at 60Hz.

From the announcement:

Featuring the highly efficient 128b/132b channel coding shared with USB4, DisplayPort 2.0 delivers a maximum payload of 77.37 Gbps across four lanes (up to 19.34 Gbps per lane), supporting ultra-high display performance configurations such as an 8K display (7,680-by-4,320 pixels) with 60 Hz refresh rate with full-color 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR resolution uncompressed and 16K display (15,360-by-8,460 pixels) at 60 Hz with 30 bpp 4:4:4 HDR resolution with compression.

In other words, DisplayPort AltMode 2.0 has 3x the bandwidth of the previous version.

VESA called the updated DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0 specification a major undertaking which was several years in the making. While Apple is yet to adopt USB4 in future devices, you can bet that they’re all over this because Apple was the first major company to adopt both Thunderbolt and USB-C. USB4 is backwards compatible with both USB 3.2 and USB 2.0.

Don’t expect first devices compatible with the new standard before 2021.