Intel and AMD sign death warrant for VGA port

Rival processor makers Intel and AMD may not agree on much, but they are of one mind about the future of the venerable VGA graphics port: it doesn’t have one. The two chipmakers are joined by Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, and LG in an industry-spanning agreement to phase out VGA entirely by 2015, and to standardize solely on HDMI and DisplayPort.

“DisplayPort and HDMI allow for slimmer laptop designs, and support higher resolutions with deeper color than VGA—a technology which is more than 20 years old,” the companies wrote in a joint press release. “Additionally, as laptops get smaller and their embedded flat panel resolutions increase for more immersive experiences, the power advantages, bidirectional communications and design efficiency benefits of DisplayPort make it a superior choice over LVDS, the previous standard for LCD panel inputs.”

LVDS will be gone from Intel’s products by 2013, with VGA following in 2015. AMD is following a similar timetable in phasing out the two technologies.

“Newer standards such as DisplayPort and HDMI clearly provide the best connectivity options moving forward,” said AMD’s Eric Demers. “In our opinion, DisplayPort 1.2 is the future interface for PC monitors, along with HDMI 1.4a for TV connectivity.”

Part of the impetus for the depreciation of VGA is the ongoing push for 3D displays in both TV and PC markets. On the TV front, the 3D panels require the latest HDMI spec, with its support for more bandwidth. And in PCs, GPU makers and monitor makers would both like to see gamers don shutter glasses and make the jump to true 3D gaming. Indeed, even in the handheld space, parallax barrier technology will bring 3D (sans glasses) to the smallest displays this coming year.

Of course, whether consumers care as much about 3D as device makers do is an open question. Sales of 3D panels have been disappointing so far, and all the major 3D TV makers are bracing for a lackluster holiday season. But if the public does decide to take the 3D plunge at some point, at least they won’t have a legacy graphics port holding them back.

Source: Ars Technica