One of the exciting new features of the USB 3.1 Type-C standard is the ability to provide an additional native video output connection through the USB Type-C port when the appropriate adapter is attached. This new functionality is enabled by USB 3.1’s ability to carry “Alternate Mode” (Alt Mode) signals through dedicated lanes, beyond just the conventional USB data input/output of previous generations.
Today Plugable is proud to announce the immediate availability of our first Type-C video adapter, which enables a full HD-capable (1080p / 1920×1080) VGA output when connected to a USB-C port which supports the required Alt Mode functionality. Since USB 3.1 Alt Mode provides a direct pipeline to the system’s graphics processor, this adapter allows the attached display to function optimally, with no additional latency or performance penalties.
There are a number of potentially complex things to get right with an adapter like this. We’ve focused on a providing the best possible implementation, including support for the USB-IF Billboard class, which is required for USB-IF certification of the device.
Presently, the Retina MacBook 12″ 2015, the Google Chromebook Pixel 2015, and motherboards containing the Intel “Alpine Ridge” chipset support Alt Mode video output. (It’s important to note that there are several different USB 3.1 implementations at this point, and most do not yet support Alt Mode functionality.) Many upcoming laptops from Alienware, Lenovo, Acer, and others along with a multitude of tablets and desktops featuring Alt Mode support will be released this holiday season and beyond. We’ll be updating compatibly information on our USBC-VGA product page as more Type-C products are released.
Stay tuned for more new USB-C product announcements over the next several months!
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