SAN JOSE, Calif. The group responsible for licensing the High-Definition Multimedia Interface announced Monday (Feb. 12) more than 50 PC products are currently using the HDMI interface, including nearly two dozen desktop and notebook PCs. HDMI competes with DisplayPort version 1.1, a specification that has received broad backing from PC makers.
Acer, BenQ, the Alienware division of Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba have announced or delivered desktop and notebook PCs with the HDMI interface, said a spokesman for HDMI Licensing, LLC., the group that licenses the technology. Apple will also use HDMI in its upcoming Apple TV set-top box, the group said.
Eight graphics card vendors, three monitors makers and two retail motherboard makers are also supporting HDMI, the group added. ViewSonic Corp., LG Electronics and BenQ are shipping as many as seven monitors with HDMI. Asus, the ATI division of Advanced Micro Devices and Taiwan's Gigabyte are shipping graphics cards with the interface.
"With the widespread proliferation of PC products using HDMI connections in 2006 and 2007, HDMI is rapidly becoming the digital interface of choice for many PC users," said Leslie Chard, president of HDMI Licensing.
The group's announcement effectively marks the first volley in a battle for mindshare with PC makers. The group's biggest selling points are the availability of chip sets and compatibility with HDMI interfaces in as many as 105 million HDTVs shipped to date.
The DisplayPort group is expected to fire back strongly later this year when the first chip sets for its 1.1 version become available. In a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Lenovo and Samsung formally threw their weight behind the DisplayPort which is a defined by Video Electronics Standards Association.
Silicon Image Inc., a key developer of HDMI, effectively dropped late last year an effort to develop a variant of HDMI for PCs called the Unified Display Interface when UDI failed to gain traction. Now HDMI backers are promoting the base spec as suitable for PC products.
Penny-pinching PC makers could not reconcile themselves to UDI's $10,000 annual fees and 4 cent/portal royalties most of it going to Silicon Image. What's more, PC makers had their own ideas for Displayport as an interconnect that could not only handle digital copy-protected HD video to a display, but also replace the low-voltage differential-signaling interconnects that are running out of gas in notebooks and monitors.