Displayport 'threat to HDMI'

Analyst firm iSuppli has claimed the DisplayPort interface could make inroads into the market for digital display connections currently dominated by the High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) technology.

“HDMI as a technology is relatively young, with first-generation solutions only becoming available in 2003,” said Randy Lawson, senior analyst for digital TV and display electronics at iSuppli. “Despite this, the technology has quickly become the interface of choice for Blu-ray players, flat-panel HD televisions, video-game consoles and even PCs. Since the release of HDMI 1.0, the interface has grown to be included in more than 70 per cent of digital televisions sold worldwide in 2007 and is consolidating its domination of DVD players and digital set-top-boxes.”

So far, HDMI has been able to stave off any threat from DisplayPort, but that situation soon will change, iSuppli said.

iSuppli forecast that global shipments of DisplayPort-enabled equipment will grow to 263.3 million units by 2012, up from zero in 2007. Meanwhile, HDMI-enabled equipment will grow to 772.8 million units in 2012, growing 32 per cent annually from 193 million units in 2007.

“iSuppli believes that the DisplayPort interface standard will be the successor to the venerable VGA interface on PC monitors as well as desktop and notebook PCs,” Lawson said. “However, both DisplayPort and HDMI will see healthy unit growth in the PC equipment space as more consumers jump on board the convergence bandwagon at home.”

Although HDMI has been adopted by desktop and mobile PC platforms and presently surpasses DisplayPort in this market, iSuppli expects that DisplayPort will take over the lead in this market after 2010, as PC OEMs move away from VGA interfaces and adopt HD interfaces.

The analyst firm claimed DisplayPort has perhaps its most significant opportunity in the embedded or internal-only video interface applications market, such as TVs using liquid-crystal displays and mobile PCs, where a high bandwidth serial interface solution designed specifically for such embedded display interfaces could find a home. iSuppli predicts more than 600 million mobile PCs and 550 million LCD-TVs will be shipped during the period of 2008 to 2011.

However, HDMI penetration is already very high. With the release of HDMI 1.3, iSuppli believes this as well as future updates and revisions will maintain HDMI's dominance in the consumer-electronics space.

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