VESA Display Compression-M (VDC-M) provides visually lossless compression of up to 5:1, enabling greater system design flexibility and lower system cost
SAN JOSE, Calif. – May 15, 2018 – The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA®) today formally introduced the VESA Display Compression-M (VDC-M) standard, a new display interface compression standard designed for embedded mobile display applications, including smart phones and other hand-held devices. Developed in collaboration with the MIPI Alliance, VDC-M provides a higher level of compression ratio (up to 5:1) at the same visually lossless quality level as VESA’s Display Stream Compression (DSC) standard (which offers up to 3:1 compression), with the trade-off of higher circuit complexity. VDC-M is the third compression standard in VESA’s family of compression codecs, which include DSC 1.1 (introduced in 2014) and DSC 1.2 (introduced in 2017).
“VESA was a pioneer in the area of low-latency data compression specifically targeting the display interface,” according to Bill Lempesis, executive director of VESA. “The initial application for VESA’s effort in this area was the Embedded DisplayPort Standard (eDP) and MIPI DSI, both which currently use DSC 1.1, with the specific intent to increase battery life and reduce form factor. The success of this spearheaded our effort on DSC 1.2 for external displays, primarily focusing on increasing display resolution. Working again with MIPI through their liaison with VESA, we returned our focus on mobile displays with VDC-M, developing a display compression standard more optimized for smaller mobile devices such as smart phones.”
As the demand for higher image quality and resolution on mobile devices continues to increase, system designers are under increased pressure to find innovative ways to support higher bandwidth across display links without compromising on the overall size, cost and battery life of the mobile device. VDC-M version 1.1 is a higher-complexity codec targeting higher rates of compression for use with higher resolution displays within a smartphone and other embedded usages. For a 30-bit image, VDC-M can enable compression down to 6 bits per pixel, providing a compression ratio of up to 5:1 while maintaining visually lossless viewing with no attendant loss of bandwidth.
Based on the broad industry support in developing the VDC-M standard, VESA expects the same broad industry adoption and longevity enjoyed by its DSC predecessors. The MIPI Alliance is already announcing plans to include VDC-M in its upcoming mobile display transport specification.
“The longstanding liaison relationship between MIPI Alliance and VESA has resulted in yet another advancement for the mobile ecosystem,” said Joel Huloux, chairman of MIPI Alliance. “Ultimately, consumers want richer content on smaller devices. The combination of VESA VDC-M and MIPI DSI-2 will enable companies to deliver on those market demands faster and more efficiently.”
While VDC-M has an increase in computational complexity compared to DSC, the ability to enable a higher level of compression provides additional design flexibility for system designers due to the ability to increase the resolution and/or color bit depth using the same display interface, or by lowering system power for the same display by reducing the link clock rate. VDC-M can also reduce power, weight and system cost by reducing the number of interface wires and connectors compared with no compression or less compression. In addition, the frame buffer size in video memory can be reduced, which is beneficial in reducing the form factor and extending the battery life of mobile devices.
“Hardent is pleased to announce the upcoming availability of new VDC-M encoder and decoder IP cores. Our unique position as a leading provider of VESA DSC IP cores since 2014, and active contributor to the VDC-M Task Group, has allowed us to design a quality IP solution that will enable the semiconductor industry to accelerate the adoption of VESA’s latest video compression standard with significantly lower risk,” stated Alain Legault, VP IP Products at Hardent.
Media participating at Display Week 2018 in Los Angeles next week are invited to attend a presentation by York University on Friday May 25 in Session 85 (Image Quality), titled “Visually Lossless Compression of High-Dynamic Range Images: A Large-Scale Evaluation,” which evaluates the VDC-M and DSC standards at several compression levels for HDR image compression.
For more information on VDC-M, including a side-by-side comparison with VESA’s DSC compression standards, please visit https://www.vesa.org/vesa-display-stream-codecs/.
The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) is an international, non-profit standards association representing a global network of more than 270 hardware, software, computer, display and component manufacturers committed to developing and promoting the electronics industry. For nearly 30 years, VESA has created and supported simple, universal and cross-product solutions for today’s video and electronics industry. The association’s standards include DisplayPort™, the industry replacement for DVI, LVDS and VGA. DisplayPort utilizes a state-of-the-art digital protocol and provides an expandable foundation to enable astonishing digital display experiences. For more information on VESA, please visit http://www.vesa.org/.