Mini DisplayPort on a MacBook Pro
|Type||Digital and analog (via DAC) computer video connector|
|Superseded||Micro-DVI, Mini-DVI, DVI|
|Width||7.4 mm male (8.3 mm female)|
|Height||4.5 mm male (5.4 mm female)|
|Video signal||Same as DisplayPort|
|Pin 2||Hot Plug Detect||Hot Plug Detect|
|Pin 3||ML_Lane 0 (p)||Lane 0 (positive)|
|Pin 5||ML_Lane 0 (n)||Lane 0 (negative)|
|Pin 9||ML_Lane 1 (p)||Lane 1 (positive)|
|Pin 10||ML_Lane 3 (p)||Lane 3 (positive)|
|Pin 11||ML_Lane 1 (n)||Lane 1 (negative)|
|Pin 12||ML_Lane 3 (n)||Lane 3 (negative)|
|Pin 15||ML_Lane 2 (p)||Lane 2 (positive)|
|Pin 16||AUX_CH (p)||Auxiliary Channel (positive)|
|Pin 17||ML_Lane 2 (n)||Lane 2 (negative)|
|Pin 18||AUX_CH (n)||Auxiliary Channel (negative)|
|Pin 20||DP_PWR||Power for connector|
|This is the pinout for the source-side connector; the sink-side connector pinout will have lanes 0–3 reversed in order, i.e. lane 3 will be on pin 3 and 5 while lane 0 will be on pin 10 and 12.|
The Mini DisplayPort (abbreviated MiniDP or mDP) is a miniaturized version of the DisplayPort digital audio-visual interface. Apple, Inc. announced the development in the fourth quarter of 2008, and now applies it in the LED Cinema Display and in all new Macintosh computers: MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, and Xserve. It is also used in new PC notebooks from various manufacturers such as Microsoft, Lenovo, Toshiba, HP and Dell.
Unlike its Mini-DVI and Micro-DVI predecessors, Mini DisplayPort is capable of driving resolutions up to 2560×1600 (WQXGA), commonly used with 30-inch displays. With a suitable adapter, Mini DisplayPort may be used to drive displays with a VGA, DVI or HDMI interface.
Shortly after announcing the Mini DisplayPort, Apple announced that it would license the connector technology with no fee. Apple reserves the right to void the license should the licensee "commence an action for patent infringement against Apple".
VESA states, "DisplayPort assures that you get the best experience from your LCD, it simplifies display design and connections, enables interoperability with existing display interfaces and provides a technology foundation to deliver new and exciting display capabilities."
However, the removal of the DVI port from the MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in favor of Mini DisplayPort, and the use of Mini DisplayPort as the video connector for the new 24-inch Cinema Display, may complicate compatibility:
- Mini DisplayPort's HDCP extension disables playback of certain DRM-encrypted content on any display not designed for it. This includes some content from the iTunes Store which has no such restrictions if played on a Mac without Mini DisplayPort.
- Apple's Dual-Link DVI or VGA adapters are relatively large and expensive compared to past adapters, and customers have reported issues with the new adapters, such as being unable to connect to an external display. Monitors connected to a Mini DisplayPort via these adaptors may have resolution issues or not "wake up" from sleep.
- While the DisplayPort specification is capable of supporting digital audio, the older 2009 line of MacBooks and MacBook Pros are unable to provide an audio signal through the Mini DisplayPort, and only do so over USB, Firewire, or the audio line out port instead (the April 2010 line of MacBook Pro, and late-2009 iMac and later, however, supports this). This can present a problem to users who intend to connect their computers to HDTVs using a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. To work around this issue, some third-party manufacturers have created dual or triple headed adapters that get power for the adapter from a USB port, video from the Mini DisplayPort, and audio from either the USB port or the optical out port. Either option terminates with a single female HDMI connector, thus allowing both video and audio to be channeled over the one HDMI cable.
- As of October 12th 2012 it's been widely discussed in the Apple Support Communities that Mini DisplayPort has compatibility issues with the HDMI standard. Apple have yet to make an official statement on this. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2180106?start=0&tstart=0
- In early 2009, VESA announced that Mini DisplayPort would be included in the upcoming DisplayPort 1.2 specification.
- In the fourth quarter of 2009, VESA officially announced that the Mini DisplayPort has been adopted. All devices using the Mini DisplayPort must comply with the 1.1a standard.
- On 7 January 2010, Toshiba introduced Satellite Pro S500, Tecra M11, A11 and S11 notebooks featuring Mini DisplayPort.
- AMD released a special variant of its Radeon HD 5870 graphics card - called the Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition, which features 2GB GDDR5 memory, higher clock speeds than the original card, and six Mini DisplayPort outputs with a maximum resolution of 5760 × 2160 pixels (a 3×2 grid of 1080p displays).
- On 13 April 2010, Apple added support for audio out using Mini DisplayPort in their MacBook Pro product line. This added feature allows users to easily connect their Macbook Pros to their HDTVs using a cable adapting Mini DisplayPort to HDMI with full audio and video functionality.
- On 24 February 2011, Apple and Intel announced Thunderbolt, a successor to Mini Displayport which adds support for PCI Express data connections while maintaining backwards compatibility with Mini Displayport based peripherals.
- On 17 May 2011, Lenovo announced the ThinkPad X1 notebook with Mini DisplayPort.
- On 15 May 2012, Lenovo announced the ThinkPad notebooks X1 Carbon, X230, L430, L530, T430s, T430, T530, W530 with Mini DisplayPort.
- On 9 February 2013, Microsoft released the Surface Tablet, Surface Pro, equipped with Windows 8 Pro and a Mini DisplayPort.
See also 
- "New MacBook Family Redefines Notebook Design". Apple.com. 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
- "Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter". Apple Store. 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
- "Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter". Apple Store. 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
- "Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter". Apple Store. 2008-10-14. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
- "Mini DisplayPort Connector Licensing & Trademark Agreements". Apple Developer Connection. 2008-11-27. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
- "Apple Mini DisplayPort Connector Implementation License Checklist" (PDF). Apple. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
- "we believe in a better way". displayport.org. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
- David Chartier (November 17, 2008). "Apple brings HDCP to a new aluminum MacBook near you". Ars Technica.
- "Apple Mini DisplayPort DRM sparks controversy". November 26, 2008.
- "EFF: Apple DisplayPort DRM will lead to more piracy". November 26, 2008.
- "Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter". Apple. Retrieved 2008-12-23.
- "Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter". Apple. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- "Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter". Apple. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- Chris Foresman (April 13, 2010). "New MacBook Pros support audio over Mini DisplayPort". Ars Technica. Retrieved April 13, 2010.
- Chris Foresman (July 22, 2009). "Mini DisplayPort no longer a hassle with cables and adapters". Ars Technica.
- "DisplayPort specification to add Apple's mini connector". MacWorld. 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2009-01-14.
- "Apple's mini connector set to be part of DisplayPort standard". AppleInsider. 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2009-01-14.
- "Apple's mini connector set to be part of DisplayPort standard". AppleInsider. 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2009-10-13.
- "Toshiba - Leading Innovation - Press Releases". Laptops.toshiba.com. 2010-01-07. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- "Toshiba Tecra A11 Laptop Computers". Laptops.toshiba.com. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- "Toshiba: Leading Innovation". Laptops.toshiba.com. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
- "HP Envy 14 and 17 officially official, Envy 13 slowly waves goodbye". Engadget. 2010-05-05. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- "Dell XPS Series Revamped". infosync. 2010-10-22. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
- "Thunderbolt Technology: The Fastest Data Connection to Your PC Just Arrived" (Press release). Intel. Feb 24, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-24.