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Proposed New Interface to Bring Next-Generation Connectivity to PC Monitors and CE Devices


SAN FRANCISCO, December 20, 2005 – Leading PC and consumer electronics companies today announced that they are working to develop a specification, referred to as the unified display interface (UDI), that is intended to serve as the next-generation digital display interface standard for PCs and provide compatibility with Consumer Electronics (CE) devices.

UDI is targeted to become the new display interface for desktop PCs, workstations, notebook PCs and PC monitors, replacing the aging VGA analog standard and providing guidelines to ensure compatibility with today’s DVI standard. Further, as planned, the UDI specification will be fully compatible with HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface), the standard digital interface for High Definition TVs (HDTVs) and advanced CE displays.

UDI will be able to use High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) technology widely deployed in HDMI-compatible products today. As a result, host platforms with UDI connectors will be able to plug into monitors and HDMI-equipped display devices including HDTVs with full content-use rights management and high-definition video compatibility.

For end users, UDI will provide a universal video connection from the computer host to the display, including PC and notebook monitors, HDTVs and projectors. For PC and monitor makers, UDI is intended to enable easy integration with both discrete and integrated graphics controllers, letting OEMs build computer platforms and all-digital LCD monitors that are lower in cost, easier to use and higher in bandwidth.

A Special Interest Group (SIG) of industry leaders has been formed to develop and continue revising the UDI specification. Principal members of the SIG include Apple, Intel Corp., LG Electronics, National Semiconductor Corp., Samsung Electronics and Silicon Image Inc. Joining the SIG as contributors are graphics chip maker NVIDIA Corp., semiconductor manufacturer THine Electronics Inc., and cable and connector makers FCI, Foxconn Electronics Inc. and JAE Electronics Inc.

UDI SIG members are seeking more industry participants to help validate and refine the display interface specification, which is currently in revision 0.8. The UDI SIG expects to have the specification completed (version 1.0) in the second quarter of 2006.

Interoperable Connection to HDMI Devices

The governing body for HDMI, the HDMI Founders, supports the goal of keeping HDMI and UDI aligned for long-term compatibility. Because the two specifications share many elements, semiconductor and component makers will have the flexibility to design products supporting both HDMI and UDI for little extra cost.

“The HDMI Founders support the development of PC products that are compatible with HDMI,” said Les Chard, President of HDMI Licensing LLC. “We are cooperating with the UDI Promoters to ensure compatibility between HDMI and UDI devices in the CE and PC industries.”

UDI is one of three platforms (including DVI and HDMI) enabled to use High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), which is the most widely-deployed content protection technology for displaying premium high-definition content and is supported by major motion picture studios. This will allow UDI-compatible PCs, notebooks and workstations the ability to display the latest digital content in various high-definition modes, including those meeting new high-definition optical disc standards.

“We welcome this new secure digital interface with even higher image quality. Technologies like HDCP allow exciting new consumer opportunities by assuring that a diverse range of choices can be offered. We support the UDI specification initiative,” said Chris Cookson, President, Warner Bros. Technical Operations Inc. and Chief Technology Officer, Warner Bros. Studios

“Next-generation content will drive new and exciting consumer experiences, and UDI can reduce the technical complexity associated with this shift,” said Eric Schmidt, group product manager of Windows Digital Media at Microsoft Corp. “With HDMI compatibility, UDI gives Windows-based PCs the flexibility to be used in commercial or consumer applications by interfacing with both PC and TV displays. We plan to support UDI in our operating system platforms.”

UDI offers a number of performance and cost improvements over existing display standards. It also will maintain backward compatibility with DVI displays to pave the way toward completely replacing analog VGA as the PC display interface. These improvements include the added flexibility of accommodating proven high-bandwidth technology based on PCI Express and HDMI’s Transition Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS); use of a small, lower cost connector with optional locking retention; and, ongoing oversight of a working group that will actively administer and revise the UDI specification to meet changing market needs.

The UDI SIG is consistent with other standard PC industry initiatives with all adopters agreeing to license their essential IP on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. In addition, core protocol and interface IP (TMDS) is available on a reciprocal, royalty-free basis.

About the UDI Special Interest Group
For more information on UDI or to join the UDI Special Interest Group, please visit


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