You may or may not have bought HDMI-equipped device for black Friday or during year end break, but you TV set (or/and you PC) are certainly HDMI-powered, like the 750 million HDMI-equipped devices sold in 2016. In fact, cumulated shipment of HDMI-equipped devices has reached 6 BILLION since the protocol introduction in 2003! HDMI 1.0 was delivering 4.5 Gbps, enough to support 1080p standard, and HDMI 2.1 delivers more than 10x with 48 Gbps. We have to remember that HDMI protocol is unidirectional, unlike USB or PCI Express, and the function is built by using four PHY, each delivering 12 Gbps.
What about HDMI competition? We can forget about Diiva, born in the early 2010’s (and disappearing just a couple of years later). DisplayPort, launched by VESA in 2006 could be seen as a direct competitor at that time, but HDMI was supported by much stronger marketing from Silicon Image and HDMI Licensing LLC (founded by Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips, Silicon Image, Sony, Thomson (RCA) and Toshiba). DisplayPort protocol is now mostly used to connect a computer monitor to a PC, but is not active in the consumer TV segment.
You may have heard about ThunderBolt (and if you use it you are more likely an Apple customer!). The protocol is not point to point like HDMI, but daisy chained: a single Thunderbolt port can support up to six Thunderbolt devices. Looks smart, but ThunderBolt penetration was penalized by higher price, as only high-end devices were equipped, and also by the lack of available IP as Intel didn’t want to license the technology as a design IP… This was not the case with HDMI and we can see that HDMI Licensing strategy, more open compared with ThunderBolt, has allowed this huge market penetration: HDMI is now ubiquitous in the consumer/computer segments when TV is concerned.
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