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New Standards to Be Developed for Use in Laptops and Notebooks

SAN JOSE, CALIF.—The National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Video Electronics Standards Association will lead an effort to develop a new voluntary standard for the interface between flat panel displays and controllers. VESA has formed a special interest group to establish the standard following a workshop sponsored by NIST that included many major industry participants. Among those companies participating were Apple Computer, IBM Corp., Hewlett-Packard, Compaq and Sharp Microelectronics.

In NIST's Workshop on the Computer Interface to Flat Panel Displays held in San Jose, Calif., Jan. 13-14, 1994, industry leaders decided to tackle the flat panel display connector compatibility problem. At present, there is no standard for the electrical interface and physical connectors that link laptop graphics controllers to their LCD panels (monitors). This has resulted in substantial confusion and higher costs for those involved in the industry. Graphics chip makers, LCD panel makers and laptop notebook manufacturers all contributed to the decision to seek a new standard.

Workshop participants selected VESA to develop a proposal for the new industry standard. This interface standard will address both active and passive matrix flat panel displays in integrated products such as laptop computers.

Mark Williamson, chairman of the NIST workshop, believes that the move toward a common standard is a move in the right direction. He states that "this cooperation between manufacturers of flat panel displays, graphics controllers and computers not only will ease the difficulties in integrating flat panel displays into portable products, it will also lead to plug- and-play controllers and flat panel displays for desktop computers."

According to Scott Vouri, president of Binar Graphics Inc. and chairman of VESA, "The incompatible interfaces between graphics controllers and flat panel displays have caused unnecessary headaches and costs" for everyone. He states that "VESA is delighted to have the opportunity to work with NIST and these manufacturers toward the development of a common solution."

VESA will hold an organizational meeting of the Flat Panel Display Interface SIG on Feb. 9, 1994, at VESA headquarters in San Jose, Calif. A call for papers has been issued by VESA. Many companies are expected to respond with proposals at the meeting. Workshop participants also agreed to begin an effort to standardize the external interface and connector for desktop and remote flat panel displays. That activity will be kicked off at a March 10, 1994, meeting at the VESA offices.

The group's organizers welcome participation from others in industry. For information on VESA or the Flat Panel Display Interface SIG, contact VESA headquarters at (408) 435-0333. For more information on NIST's work with flat panel display interfaces, contact Mark Williamson, (301) 975-3160, fax: (301) 216-1369, e-mail: mark [at] (mark[at]pegasus[dot]ncsl[dot]nist[dot]gov) (Internet).

VESA is the international standards organization that sets and supports industry-wide video graphics and related standards for the benefit of the end user. It works to set industry standards for computer displays, graphics controllers and adapters, computer busses and software.

As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, NIST promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards.

Released January 31, 1994, Updated November 27, 2017