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Intel Arc 'Alchemist' Discrete GPUs To Support DisplayPort 2.0: Up to 16K Displays

(Image credit: StarTech)

Just days after formally announcing the Arc brand for its discrete gaming graphics processors and the name of the first generation Xe-HPG (DG2) products, Intel has begun to reveal some essential technical details about these GPUs. As it turns out, the new graphics chips will support DisplayPort 2.0 and ultra-high-resolution displays with deep colors.  

This week Intel published a number of patches that set the groundwork for DisplayPort 2.0 support by the 'i915' kernel graphics driver, reports Phoronix. Several patches specifically mention Display Port 2.0 UHBR [Ultra High Bit Rate] and 128b/132b channel encoding support Intel's DG2 family. One patch discloses that a GPU will handle UHBR 20 mode that supports a raw bandwidth of 80 Gbps, which is a good indicator that at least some of the upcoming Arc 'Alchemist' GPUs will support a DP 2.0 with UHBR 20.  

A DisplayPort 2.0 with UHBR 20 interface features an effective 77.37 Gbps data rate with a 128b/132b encoding, which enables higher resolution, higher refresh rate, and wider color gamut displays. One DP 2.0 cable will be able to drive a 30-bit (10-bit per color) 8K monitor at 60Hz HDR without any kind of compression (DSC or chroma subsampling). The same cable can support a 24-bit 10K display at 60Hz with HDR without any compression. Meanwhile, with Display Stream Compression (DSC), a single DP 2.0 cable could support monitors with an up to 16K resolution at 60Hz, or lower-resolution displays at high refresh rates. For example, gamers may now expect 8K displays with a 120Hz refresh rates. 

VESA's DisplayPort 2.0 specification was announced in mid-2019, so it is logical for Intel to support the technology on GPUs that are set to become available in Q1 2022. 

Interestingly, earlier this week AMD released a Linux patch enabling DisplayPort 2.0 support on its future GPUs based on the RDNA 3 architecture.