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What is a display port?

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Quick Answer

A DisplayPort is a digital display interface designed to connect a video source to a display device, such as a monitor or a video projector. As of 2014, the interface provides a maximum resolution of 7680 by 4320 pixels at a refresh rate of 60 hertz.

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Full Answer

DisplayPort was introduced in 2006 as a royalty-free product by the Video Electronics Standards Association, a large consortium of companies that includes AMD and ZIPS Corporation. Its purpose is to replace the older VGA and DVI analog and digital interfaces. VESA and the DisplayPort Task Group are not responsible for the manufacturing process, distribution and selling, but they are in charge of managing compliance and branding.

DisplayPort connectors feature 20 pins and come in different versions, including the standard DisplayPort alongside the Mini and Micro versions. The Mini DisplayPort delivers up to 21.6 gigabites of data per second and is most commonly used by Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet. As of version 1.2, DisplayPort cables support all common 3D video formats and are able to carry multichannel digital audio, although they’re not able to carry Ethernet data or provide an audio-return channel.

The interface allows users to employ adapters to connect a computer or a laptop to older display devices that utilize VGA, DVI or HDMI. It can also support up to four monitors, with each display device receiving separate video and audio data streams.

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