Industry group promotes UDI as successor of VGA graphical interface

San Francisco (CA) - 11 companies, including heavy weights Apple, Intel, LG, Samsung and Nvidia announced the formation of the UDI Special Interest Group (UDI SIG), which aims to establish the Unified Display Interface (UDI) as high definition graphical interface to replace the aging VGA standard. UDI will deliver a bandwidth of 16 Gb/s in its first generation.

High-Definition will be the buzzword for the foreseeable time at least in the consumer-focused computer and computer electronics industry, as it is commonly believed that unlocking high video resolutions and premium content will be key to taking chip and content manufacturers through the next major phase of growth. More and more components are equipped with the capabilities to run HD content, so it may come as little surprise that the industry is thinking about replacing the good old VGA.

That potential replacement could be UDI, which currently is described in a specification version 0.8. 11 companies, including Apple, Intel , LG Electronics, National Semiconductor, Samsung Electronics, Silicon Image, Nvidia, THine Electronics , FCI, Foxconn and JAE Electronics recently formed the UDI SIG, which targets to develop UDI as external interface solution for desktop PCs, workstations and PC monitors as well as an internal interface for notebooks. According to the members, UDI will achieve higher performance then VGA, while maintaining compatibility to current interface standards DVI and HDMI to allow PC devices to be connected to consumer electronics and vice versa.

Intel's Simon Ellis told TG Daily that UDI will be a graphical interface "for the next ten years" and offer the bandwidth to support current and next-generation HD devices. "VGA is running out of steam at WQXGA resolution [2560 x 1600 pixel], which is currently supported by Apple's 30" Cinema display. We require much more performance than VGA can deliver." Ellis said that UDI will provide at least twice the performance capability of the maximum the display market demands today. "We are looking at 16 Gb/s bandwidth," he said.

High Definition is not just about higher display quality, but also about content protection. The UDI therefore will also include an optional integration of HDCP (High Definition Content Protection) to ensure content companies that their content is protected from piracy.

The UDI SIG currently looks for additional members and feedback from analysts and industry on their 0.8 version of the spec. The final specification is expected to be finalized in the second quarter of 2006.