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February 23, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Common connectors for attaching digital displays to computers should be on the market as soon as next quarter following publication of a draft specification agreed upon by vendors including Intel, Compaq, Fujitsu, HP, IBM and NEC in the Digital Display Working Group. The group has worked on the Digital Visual Interface since last September as a way of providing common connections to the digital flat panel displays which will supercede conventional analog CRT screens while also supporting them at the same time. The DVI spec supports prior art in the field such as the work done by the VESA Video Electronics Standards Association and Compaq. DVI draws heavily upon Silicon Image Inc’s PanelLink technology which supports digital and analog devices rather than competing all-digital mechanisms such as ATI Technologies Inc’s DFP work. Silicon Image sells a chip- set DVI implementation that will feature in systems and monitors although other vendors are free to create their own implementations form the spec. Version 1.0 of the spec should be complete by the end of the quarter. The group by-passed other possible connection mechanisms such as USB or Firewire 1394 claiming they would either add too much to the cost of a system, would require additional compression/decompression functions, or simply not have the bandwidth. Silicon Image says DVI recognizes that VGA CRTs are going to be around for at least another ten years. System manufacturers will be able to offer an all-digital DVI connector or digital and VGA analog DVI connections.

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