Display Stream Compression (DSC)

February 10, 2020

Introducing Display Stream Compression (DSC)

VESA, the Video Electronics Standards Association, published Display Stream Compression (DSC) in 2014. DSC enables visually lossless image compression to increase the amount of data carried by a display interface data rate, saving power. For example, the table below shows the supported single display setups for DisplayPort 2.0 specifications with and without DSC.

Single Display Setup (DP 2.0)Without DSCWith DSC
Resolution with 4 lanes10K (10240x4320)16K (15360x8460)
Refresh rate60Hz60Hz
Color depth24 bpp 4:4:430 bpp 4:4:4 HDR

What are the main applications for the DSC Standard?

The initial application for DSC is portable, battery-powered systems with an embedded display. DSC is used in the internal embedded display interface to save system power, which extends battery life, and to reduce the system form factor’s weight, and costs by decreasing the number of interconnected wires. It also decreases the display’s frame buffer size which further decreases cost. In the future, DSC will be used to further increase display resolution for external displays. For example, DisplayPort 1.4a supports 8K video at 60Hz and 24-bit color using a low 2:1 compression ratio or 30-bit color using a low 2.5:1 compression ratio, which will provide visually lossless image quality (indistinguishable from the original image), unlike the use of chroma subsampling.

Does the implementation of the VESA DSC Standard require a license?

The VESA DSC Standard is open and licensing is available under the well known and historically successful RAND policy terms from member contributors.

The VESA DSC Standard was designed to be an open standard available for use by other video interface standards. The VESA DSC Standard 1.2a, including the codec C source code files, is available for free from VESA.

Source: VESA

The presentation below gives you an overview of DSC and FEC (Forward Error Correction)

Forward error correction and display stream correction


This video tutorial describes how to test DisplayPort devices and source DSC content with Unigraf’s UCD-400 in Generator role.

Products with DSC Support

See all products