We are excited to announce the release of our newest USB Type-C Alternate Mode adapter, the Plugable USB Type-C to HDMI 2.0 adapter.
USB-C Alternate Modes provide a direct pipeline to the system’s graphics processor on supported systems. Our adapter enables supported USB-C systems (including many Thunderbolt™ 3 ones which use have USB-C ports) to inexpensively provide an additional HDMI 2.0-capable output. HDMI 2.0 compliance enables the adapter to support resolutions up to 3840×2160@60Hz (4Kp60) when using an HDMI 2.0 capable system, cable, and display — while also maintaining backward compatibility with the vast installed base of HDMI 1.4 displays and TVs. It’s the easiest way to get no-compromise graphics performance up to 4K (3840×2160) 60Hz between your compatible USB-C laptop or tablet, and your new TV or monitor. It’s great for gaming, video editing — anything that makes the most of your GPU.
It’s important to note that there are many different USB-C 3.1 host implementations at this point, and many do not yet support Alt Mode functionality. A good thing is Intel has baked in support for “DisplayPort Alternate Mode” alongside Thunderbolt™ 3 in their Alpine Ridge and later chipsets. This adapter converts that DisplayPort Alternate Mode signal to HDMI 2.0. So most future systems based on Intel’s latest chipsets (6th gen and later) will have this capability, as long as the motherboard maker has routed one of the Intel chipset’s 3 outputs to the USB-C port.
Some of the more popular current systems that support DisplayPort Alt Mode are the Apple Retina MacBook 12″ (2015 and 2016, limited by Apple to 4K@30Hz), Google Chromebook Pixel (2015), Dell XPS 9350 and 9550 (13″ and 15″), Lenovo Yoga 900 13″, and Razer Blade Stealth, with many more new systems to be released this year and beyond. We recommend checking with your system’s manufacturer regarding Alternate Mode capability via USB Type-C or on our USBC-HDMI product page as we update compatibility information as more systems are coming out and tested.
For users wanting to add multiple (3+) displays over USB, DisplayPort Alternate Mode Support can get you the first one, but you can’t just connect multiple adapters to get more. This is because the graphics signal needs to be physically wired up through the USB-C port on the motherboard. For the 3+ display scenario, however, there is an answer – add additional displays using DisplayLink graphics adapters which multiplex multiple displays over standard USB data packets. It’s a virtual graphics solution that doesn’t need a hard wire to the GPU, which makes it lower performance but more flexible.
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