The Video Electronic Standard Association (VESA) has set forth DisplayPort as the new license-free digital
interface standard, to be used primarily between a computer and its display(s) or a computer and a home theater system. The DisplayPort consists of a main link, an auxiliary channel, and a hot plug detect. The DisplayPort connector supports one to four data pairs, on which both audio and video can be transmitted, as the main link. These exposed signal pairs are vulnerable to electrostatic discharge (ESD), either directly from a user or from plugging a charged cable into the port.

In order to ensure the functionality of the port, the DisplayPort needs to be ESD-hardened to the IEC61000-4-2 ESD standard, as indicated in the DisplayPort Specification. To meet this stringent standard, external protection devices are required at the port entrance. This paper describes the DisplayPort technology in detail and discusses Semtech’s RClamp 0524P, which provides advanced ESD protection without adversely affecting the signal integrity of the high speed differential signal.