If you've got several possibly aging LCD panels laying around the house, DisplayLink may be able to get them back on the desk without much investment or resources. Today we had some hand's on time with DisplayLink's DVI-over-USB and DVI-over-Wireless USB solutions.
We took a look first at the wired solution, which used a small USB dongle that had a DVI connector at one end. Currently the module supports up to 1600x1200 resolution, which is plenty for adding extra displays to a main unit. According to DisplayLink, a new firmware is on the way that will enable up to 1920x1200 resolution over USB 2.0.
Users are able to plug in up to three separate DisplayLink adapters to get ample desktop real estate. The rendering is done entirely by Windows Vista (and 7)'s built in architecture. In Windows 7, Microsoft will unveil an entirely CPU-driven display technology called WARP. DisplayLink told Tom's Hardware that WARP will be supported when Windows 7 ships. According to DisplayLink, the devices are also capable of utilizing some GPUs to help accelerate rendering and compression. DisplayLink reps didn't reveal which GPUs were compatible.
When it comes out, Superspeed USB will be supported as well--expect even higher performance and resolution when this happens.
Also on display was DisplayLink utilizing wireless USB, which was demonstrated using a Lenovo laptop that had an integrated Realtek Wireless USB transmitter. The receiver converts the wireless USB signals into a DVI signal and the results are the same as the wired version. We tested both versions using several video tests and found that while 720p video did well up to 1600x1200, anything higher produced some chuggy results. DisplayLink informed us that an updated firmware is on the way that addresses this performance issue.