To USB or Not to USB


Behind the Scenes: The Universe’s First DisplayPort 1.4Tx IP Solution (Probably) (Certified Too!)

Hey USB and DisplayPort fans!

I’m excited to announce Synopsys’ DisplayPort 1.4Tx IP solution (probably), which we demonstrated three months ago.  And (probably) the first certified DP 1.4 Tx IP solution.


Why is Certification and Interoperability Important for IP?

Certification and interoperability prove that an IP can pass testing with the right implementation. If the IP passes the test, this proves a proper implementation will pass testing. IP that passes certifcation has a higher probability of interoperating with other products that pass the same protocol, electrical and interoperability tests.


VESA Certification vs. USB Certification

VESA runs a certification process for DisplayPort systems. To achieve certification, there is a series of tests that your design must pass to be able to achieve VESA certification. These tests and the certification process is not the same as USB certification conducted by USB-IF. With USB certification, your design can receive SuperSpeed (USB 3.0) certification or HiSpeed (USB 2.0) certification.

In VESA’s case, the system must pass link tests (controller tests) and electrical tests.


VESA Certification & USB Certification Share One Thing

VESA certification only applies to a specific-system being tested and the same notation applies to USB certification. The specific implementation by a designer must have the right combination of software and hardware tools to make their system compliant.


The Platform

Synopsys integrated the DisplayPort 1.4 Tx controller with an HDCP 2.2 embedded security module and implemented it in a HAPS FPGA platform. Our engineers plugged in a FinFET PHY card, which has the digital portions implemented in a FPGA platform and the analog portions in a chip (in a FinFET process node). The PHY card has a USB Type-C connector.

The team used a cable with a Type-C connector on one side, and then plugged it into the PHY card . The other end of the cable has a standard, full sized DisplayPort adapter. The platform is identical to the USB 3.1 demos we do, except it’s programmed for DisplayPort.


Our DisplayPort 1.4Tx Solution

We passed the DisplayPort Source tests using HBR3 rates. To our knowledge, this is the first IP to receive this certification. The HBR3 rates are the fastest (widest) available to support the highest resolutions.

For now, Synopsys is the first and only IP provider with this certification.

Demonstration 1Synopsys Demonstrates Certified DisplayPort IP at HBR3 Rates

Demonstration 2 – Proof of Interoperability: Synopsys DisplayPort 1.4 TX Interop with Realtek DP RX Chips

We also worked with Realtek to make sure our DisplayPort Transmit works with real silicon.  I’m pretty sure we are also the first, and the first IP company to show real-world interoperability of DisplayPort 1.4 Tx.


At back to school night, our World Literature teacher in less than 5 minutes pointed out how Beethoven wrote “Ode to Joy” based on the poem.  She explained how words evoke emotions and then pointed us to this flash mob performance.


Also, if you have a combustion engine, I recommend a USB Battery and Car Jumper like this one . I’ve used mine many, many times, and it’s under the limits to take on planes to charge your tablet or phone (except it’s a little big).


And your USB Humor

I’m pretty sure the source is this book: (Source:

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