DisplayPort Wiring

Single Locking DisplayportWhat Is DisplayPort?

DisplayPort is an interface specification originally designed to carry Video signals from a source to a display device, such as between a computer and a monitor or projector.  It can also carry other data, for example audio, USB, and custom data formats.

DisplayPort is used extensively by Apple, and carries multiple types of data on its Thunderbolt ports.

DisplayPort Leads

There is a common misconception that there are different versions of DisplayPort leads for compatibility with specification version 1.1 or 1.2.  In fact, there is no such thing as a DisplayPort 1.1 or DisplayPort 1.2 cable – a standard DisplayPort cable is quite capable of handling any DisplayPort configuration including features such as 4k and Multi-stream that were introduced with version 1.2.  All standard DisplayPort cables can handle RBR, HBR (High Bit Rate) and HBR 2 (High Bit Rate 2) and can support up to four 1080p displays using multi-stream or 4K resolution at 60Hz.

In common with other digital cable formats such as HDMI and DVI many retailers try to take advantage of customers by selling them more expensive leads on the basis that they will give better results.  This is simply untrue!  Digital formats transfer data in packets, so those packets either get to the end of the cable or they do not.  As long as the cable meets or exceeds the specification and the packets get to the end of the cable, the results will be pristine regardless of how much you paid for it.

Obviously if you purchase a rubbish cable that does not meet the specification then you could suffer data errors or obvious corruption of audio or video data. Avoid anything that is ridiculously cheap, or is marked as RBR (Reduced Bit Rate) since these only support up to a single 1080p connection.

As you might expect Leads Direct sell a range of high quality DisplayPort leads and cables that represent fabulous value for money.

DisplayPort Connectors

Following the release of the DisplayPort 1.2 specification there are now two different types of DisplayPort connector and a third that is now well overdue:

Type Image Description
DisplayPort The standard DisplayPort connector has 20 pins.

Width 16.1 mm
Height 4.76 mm
Mini DisplayPort Mini DisplayPort has 20 pins in a smaller housing.  The connector sizes are as follows:

Width 7.4 mm
Height 4.5 mm
Micro DisplayPort  This even smaller version of the connector was expected to ship in 2014, but at the time of writing has yet to be released.

The DisplayPort standard requires that all connectors are over moulded, that is to say that a moulding machine has to be used to manufacture DisplayPort cables and there are no rewireable connectors generally available to allow the manufacture of individual custom DisplayPort cables in unusual lengths or formats.

Adapting to other Formats

The DisplayPort format can be converted using cables and adaptors to fit HDMI, DVI, or SVGA legacy formats.

Making Your Own DisplayPort Leads

Because of the requirements of the specification and the fact that there are no rewireable connectors generally available, making your own DisplayPort leads is not really a practical proposition.  The connector parts may be available, but without the over moulding there is no way to provide strain relief or shielding at the point of connection.  However, having custom leads made for you is a possibility as long as you need large quantities.

Custom DisplayPort Leads

Custom DisplayPort leads and cables would have to be made in a specialised factory using very expensive machinery that takes a lot of time and skill to set up for each run, and therefore there is typically a large MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) of between 1,000 and 10,000 pieces to allow for that cost to be spread over the cable run.  The alternative is a VERY expensive custom cable!  DisplayPort cables are typically manufactured in the Far East, and at the time of writing there are no manufacturing facilities for these cables within the EU, so the lead time for custom cables is typically 8 to 13 weeks.

If you are interested in investigating the possibility of having custom DisplayPort cables made to your own specification please see our Custom Leads page or contact us for advice and assistance.

DisplayPort Pinout

The cables are normally wired as follows:

Pin 1 ML_Lane 0 (p) Lane 0 (positive)
Pin 2 GND Ground
Pin 3 ML_Lane 0 (n) Lane 0 (negative)
Pin 4 ML_Lane 1 (p) Lane 1 (positive)
Pin 5 GND Ground
Pin 6 ML_Lane 1 (n) Lane 1 (negative)
Pin 7 ML_Lane 2 (p) Lane 2 (positive)
Pin 8 GND Ground
Pin 9 ML_Lane 2 (n) Lane 2 (negative)
Pin 10 ML_Lane 3 (p) Lane 3 (positive)
Pin 11 GND Ground
Pin 12 ML_Lane 3 (n) Lane 3 (negative)
Pin 13 CONFIG1 connected to Ground1)
Pin 14 CONFIG2 connected to Ground1)
Pin 15 AUX CH (p) Auxiliary Channel (positive)
Pin 16 GND Ground
Pin 17 AUX CH (n) Auxiliary Channel (negative)
Pin 18 Hot Plug Hot Plug Detect
Pin 19 Return Return for Power
Pin 20 DP_PWR Power for connector (3.3 V 500 mA)

 

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