Analog video interfaces will be abandoned but with no hurry

15 pin VGA Connector
15 pin VGA Connector

Hardware makers AMD, Dell, Intel Corporation, Lenovo, Samsung Electronics LCD Business and LG Display announced their intention to accelerate the adoption of video digital interfaces abandoning the analog ones such as VGA and LVDS.

Today when the VGA acronym is used it’s often meant as the graphics card, actually VGA is a hardware standard introduced by IBM in 1987 marked by the classical 15 pins connector. In the past it was normal to talk about VGA to refer to the 640×480 video resolution introduced by that standard.

In a few years PC clones producers adopted the VGA connector, which became a standard for graphics cards. At the end of the ’80s the first extensions for the VGA standard already started appearing. They were called Super VGA but the connector remained the same and kept on being used with the increase of the graphic power supported by cards and screens.

In 1999 the DVI interface was introduced but the VGA standard was established so deeply that even today many graphics cards and screens have a VGA connector or a DVI/VGA adapter.

LVDS technology is used at video level in the Flat Panel Display Link (FPD-Link) interface to connect a graphics card output to a screen in portable PCs.

Digital interfaces which became standards during the last years such as DisplayPort and High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) allow to take full advantage of modern graphics cards power to have the maximum quality of high definition images with a lesser use of power.

Old analog interfaces today create a limitation to the evolution of video standards, such as 3D, so some leader hardware companies made a deal to establish an expiration for their support to analog interfaces. The dates established to cease this support go from 2013 to 2015 so there’s all the time to replace old PCs and screens that have a VGA connector only. DVI standard is partially compatible with HDMI so an adapter should solve the problem until the natural switch to new hardware.

For people who’ve been into informatics for many years this is another little revolution. Someone claims that in the next years the PC era will end and a lot of people will use mobile devices instead but people who’ll keep on using a PC will see them change again.

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