Thanks VR-Zone for the image!

IDF 2011 ended on last Thursday but there is still lots of data showing up because sites are processing the data they have gathered. VR-Zone is now reporting that Ivy Bridge's GPU will support resolutions of up to 4096x4096 (commonly referred as 4Kx4K). We took a deeper look at the IB GPU in our Ivy Bridge Architecture piece, but we missed this upgrade. Sandy Bridge's GPU supports only resolutions of up to 2560x1600, so this is a huge jump since 4Kx4K has over four times more pixels. 

It's unlikely that we will see any 4Kx4K displays though, given that 16:9 is the standard nowadays (some higher-end are 16:10 though). That suggests a resolution of 4096x2304, which actually makes more sense given the bandwidth limitations. 4096x4096 at 60Hz with 24-bit color would require a bandwidth of roughly 36Gb/s, more than any of the current display interfaces supports (DisplayPort 1.2 is the king at 21.6Gb/s). 4096x2304 requires only ~20.2Gb/s, and that DP 1.2 can easily provide. 4096x4096 should, however, work with DP 1.2 by lowering the refresh rate to e.g. 30Hz, which would reduce the required bandwidth to be within DisplayPort's range. 

Displays with +2560x1600 resolution are very rare and expensive at the moment though. Back in June, EIZO announced a 36" monitor with resolution of 4096x2160, with a whopping price tag of $36,000 (yes, that is three zeros). However, considering that 10.1" tablets with 2560x1600 will soon be reality, it sounds likely that displays with 4096x2XXX resolution will soon be available at reasonable price points too. 

Source: VR-Zone

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  • Metaluna - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    I believe 4K x 4K is fairly standard for high-res medical imaging (e.g. x-rays, cat scans, etc.). So it could be that there are some high-end medical displays that could benefit from this.
  • ImSpartacus - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    Nah, they can use specialized hardware.

    I think this is a sign that we will see monitors with higher resolution in the near future.

    Otherwise, support like this would be pointless. Intel knows something we don't.
  • sigmatau - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    .... at up to 1 FPS.
  • TypeS - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    I know that was probably a joke but still, gaming is such a small portion of the market.
  • formulav8 - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    Not even able to move the mouse at 1 fps either.
  • n0b0dykn0ws - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    How about 1920x1080@23.976 with UAC on?

  • gevorg - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    Exactly! Intel better get 23.976fps right this time.
  • rs2 - Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - link

    Or maybe we could just stop using insane numbers for our framerates and just stick to integers. Wouldn't that be something?
  • repoman27 - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    And like the EIZO you referenced, 4096x2160 are the standard dimensions, but the refresh rate is usually only 24 or 48 Hz, being for movies and all. At 24 bit color and 60 Hz with CVT-R that would work out to 13.6 Gbps.

    DisplayPort 1.2 can actually only provide 17.28 Gbps of bandwidth to the protocol layer due to 8b/10b encoding, but I only come up with 14.5 Gbps for 4096x2304 @ 60 Hz and 24 bpp. You might wanna check your math there. I also only come up with 25.8 Gbps for 4096x4096 @ 60 Hz and 24 bpp.
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, September 19, 2011 - link

    I used the following calculator for the calculations:

    I guess your figures are the raw, mathematical ones (I was able to come up with similar ones) but the overhead is the issue (I don't think there is a certain number for the overhead, so it's kind of guessing). Or the overhead might refer to the 8b/10b overhead as well, with some added overhead for latency etc though.

    The main point is, 4096x2304 is supported by DP 1.2, whereas 4096x4096 is not ;-)

    Just to confirm, it's (pixels*refresh rate*bit depth) and then divide that by 10^9 to get the bandwidth in Gigabits? I always forget the exact equation, hence I use the calculator :)

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