PC Manufacturers are working day and night to shrink Ultrabooks into impossibly thin new form factors, and one of the casualties of this push has been output display options. VGA and DVI made way for mini display port and HDMI, however even these smaller connectors take up precious space. Even if your laptop sports one, what if you want more than one external display? The answer my friends is DisplayLink. The proliferation of USB 3 on Intel’s new chipsets is making outputting to multiple monitors over USB much more than a hack, this could well be the future.
It’s not all quad cores and Sandy Bridges at the Intel Developer Forum this year; DisplayLink brought a touch of home theater to the party with the announcement of the world's first USB-to-HDMI adapter that taps into the raw speed of SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connections. It’s built around the company’s DL-3500 chip, sports the creative name “Winstars SuperSpeed USB 3.0 to HDMI adapter,” and (probably) spells an end to the jaggies you see when streaming PC video to your television.
Forget about your swank two-monitor setup, word on the tech block is that Intel's 4 Series chipset for desktop and notebook displays will support four monitors at the same time. DisplayLink is providing its technology through a license model, and Intel has jumped first in line as a major customer.
Two of the displays will come courtesy of conventional outputs, while the other two can be connected via USB 2.0. Previous to this, DisplayLink support was only provided to displays that included the company's DP-120/160 chips. Also prior, enthusiasts wanting a four-display setup had to rely on graphics cards outputs.
But what about the performance impact? TGDaily noted up to 30 percent CPU utilization with the DP-120/160 chips, so it will be interesting to see how the G45 chipset handles DisplayLink chores.
ASUS announced the availability of their 22-inch VW223 LCD monitor with built-in DisplayLink technology. This monitor was designed with multitasking in mind available monitors letting up to six additional monitors to be networked together using a single PC over the USB 2.0 interface.
The VW223B monitor delivers a native 1680x1050 wide-screen resolution, 3000:1 contrast ratio, and 5-millisecond response time help ensure smooth video display on all of the networked displays without lag or ghosting effects.
ASUS will also ship a 20-inch version, the VW202B starting sometime in July.