In recent years Diamond Multimedia has been carving out their niche in the world with an increasingly vast array of video periphials, including video capture devices, Android based media streamers, and of course video cards. This includes both traditional video cards and external display adapters based on DisplayLink’s video-over-USB technology.

So far those external adapters have been based around USB 2.0 – which has a rather anemic peak bandwidth of 480Mb/sec – but with the introduction of USB 3.0 and more recently widespread USB 3.0 deployment in Intel’s Ivy Bridge platform, Diamond’s external adapters are finally getting a boost in capabilities thanks to USB 3.0's order of magnitude increase in bandwidth. Joining Diamond’s existing USB 2.0 based adapters will be their first USB 3.0 based adapter, the DV100, a dual head display adapter.

As hinted at by the product name, the DV100’s main selling point is that it’s a dual head display adapter, the first such adapter from Diamond. Diamond is primarily pitching this to laptop users where expandability is extremely limited, and at a time where even DisplayPort laptops are still limited to 1 monitor per port due to the lack of MST hubs. To that end the DV100 sports 1 SL-DVI output and 1 HDMI output, each with a maximum resolution of 2048x1152. The DV100 offers both mirroring and extended desktop modes, with the HDMI port also supporting 5.1 channel HDMI audio. The DV100 is completely USB powered so power consumption is quite low at under 2.5W, though like other USB based external adapters this goes hand-in-hand with its limited performance intended for desktop work and video streaming.

On the technical side of things, like Diamond’s other external adapters the DV100 is based on a DisplayLink chipset, with Diamond tapping DisplayLink’s DL-3900 for this product, DisplayLink’s top-tier USB 3.0 chipset. While it’s primarily meant for use with USB 3.0 the DL-3900/DV100 also offers USB 2.0 fallback support, though it’s not clear what the impact is on the DV100 given the amount of bandwidth that’s needed to drive two displays. Meanwhile it’s interesting to note that though Diamond is primarily using the DL-3900 for its unique dual head capabilities, the chipset supports several other features that Diamond doesn’t end up using, including Gigabit Ethernet and DisplayPort support.

Finally, with this launch Diamond is explicitly noting that the DV100 will be augmenting Diamond’s existing external adapter lineup (BVU195) rather than replacing it. The DV100 will be launching at a MSRP of $79.99, $10 over the existing BVU195’s MSRP of $69.99. Though if retail prices on the DV100 are anything like the BVU195’s, then it shouldn’t be uncommon to see the DV100 $10 below MSRP.

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  • magreen - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    I have something like this at work, but it's made by Targus. USB3.0, dual head w/ DVI and HDMI output. It can do either 2048x1152 or 1920x1200.

    What I don't understand is how USB3.0, with about 5000 Mbps has the bandwidth to run two monitors. Here's the math for two monitors at 1920x1200 with 32bpp and 60Hz:

    2 * 1920 * 1200 * 4 Bpp * 60 = 1105.9 MB/s

    At 5000 Mbps (with 10/8 encoding), there's about 400 to 500 MB/s of realistic usable bandwidth over USB3.0. How the heck do these things run even one monitor, let alone two?

    Are they just reading data from the computer at 20Hz and storing that data for 3 consecutive cycles of 60Hz each?
  • Telek - Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - link

    If there was only some way to do basic and fast compression on graphical images :-)

    Not sure if they use it, but something like RLE would be trivial and easy to implement.

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