Recently, several major manufacturers announced the end of VGA (video graphics array) technology within their product line up. By 2015, VGA and low-voltage differential signaling, or LVDS, is expected to disappear from the PC industry landscape altogether. This includes product changes from AMD, Dell, Intel Corporation, Lenovo, Samsung Electronics LCD Business and LG Display, to name a few.
What Does This Mean For You, and Just What is VGA Anyway?
VGA connector technology is represented as a 15-pin device that’s typically been used for PCs and video cards, while laptops use a smaller, “mini” version to deliver analog RGBHV (red, green, blue, horizontal sync, vertical sync) video signals. In addition, VGAs have been used to carry Display Data Channel (DDC) protocols between a computer display and a graphics adapter. This allows for the adjustment of monitor conditions such as brightness and contrast.
The Beginning of the End
Just why is VGA becoming obsolete? Because as the “analog sunset” has arrived, digital solutions such as DisplayPort and High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) offer the advantages of more scalable solutions with lower power consumption required.
As nicely summarized in this Intel press release:
HDMI has increasingly been included in new PCs for easy connection to consumer electronics devices. DisplayPort is expected to become the single PC digital display output for embedded flat panels, PC monitors and projectors.
DisplayPort and HDMI allow for slimmer laptop designs, and support higher resolutions with deeper color than VGA — a technology that is more than 20 years old. Additionally, as laptops get smaller and their embedded flat panel resolutions increase for more immersive experiences, the power advantages, bi-directional communications and design efficiency benefits of DisplayPort make it a superior choice over LVDS, the previous standard for LCD panel inputs.
What’s Your Take?
How will these changes ultimately effect the AV industry? One senior design engineer and industry veteran notes: “This change has become the path for all new work interfacing computers and related equipment. It will mainly impact service and maintenance work. As the technology changes, it may be more difficult to get components that will work with/in existing AV systems.”
Tell us, what’s your take on the end of VGA?