Intel Planning to Support VESA Adaptive-Sync Monitors with Future Processors – Kaby Lake and AMD FreeSync Compatibility On the Table

Usman Pirzada
Posted Aug 20, 2015
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The battle between the Sync standards has been heating up as of late, with Nvidia championing its proprietary G-Sync standard and AMD collaborating with VESA on its Adaptive Sync tech. Both technologies are primarily designed to control the monitor refresh rate in a dynamic manner, using the input signal. According to a report published by Tech Report recently, Intel is looking forward to supporting VESA A-Sync as well, although any such support will come after Skylake.

Intel iGPUs and the VESA adaptive sync standard is a definite possibility

It’s worth pointing out that FreeSync is based on VESA ASync but the two are not 100% the same. While FreeSync does consist of some added homegrown technologies, the primary ingredient, is, VESA ASync. If Intel were to include support for this standard in their iGPUs then they would have access to all AMD FreeSync monitors. Before we go any further here is an extract from the relevant article:

Blythe indicated that Intel is positively inclined toward standards-based solutions like Adaptive-Sync, and he said Intel does indeed plan to support this optional extension to the DisplayPort spec. However, Blythe wasn’t yet willing to commit to a timetable for Intel enabling Adaptive-Sync support in its products. – Tech Report

The new VESA standard for desktops (1.3) was recently revealed and the embedded side of things (laptops, notebooks etc) has received an update as well. Some of the main features of DP 1.3 are also part of eDP 1.4a (such as the 8.1 Gbps per lane and the new HBR3 link ) not to mention DSC v1.1. AMD’s FreeSync technology was officially launched back in March but one of the major caveats was that it could only support a single GPU. Red had promised support for crossfire by April, but since that didn’t happen, they posted an update on the situation. I am not sure whether the problem has been resolved or not, but last we heard it was pending some more QA testing.

Users who use Intel’s integrated GPUs are usually on the low end spectrum of graphics technology – as such, issues that result from low frames per second are very much expected. A variable refresh technology would make the experience infinitely better and could even possibly allow users to crank up the settings a bit. According to the report however, Intel’s Skylake units do not contain the necessary hardware to back ASync right now but future processors may do so.  Since both GSync mobility and FreeSync mobility appear to use the VESA standard over eDP – it would be possible for future Intel mobility processors to support the mobile version as well – but that is something that still has a long way to go considering the actual pioneering tech isn’t mainstream yet.

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