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DVI Cable – Types, Pin Configuration, How to Identify hdmi DVI Connectors

DVI Cable or Digital Video Interface Cable is a video cable used for LCD monitors and GPU’s. This post will discuss in about what is DVI Cable (Digital Visual Interface), its various types, How to Identify different DVI Configurations and advantages.

What is DVI Cable

DVI is an acronym for Digital Video Interface alternatively called as Digital Visual Interface. It is the most common connection ports that you see on LCD monitors.

DVI Cable (1)Fig. 1 – Introduction to DVI Cable

These cables offer higher quality and resolution as compared to VGA Cables. It is mainly used in providing the connection between a computer and its display device. They carry either digital or analog video signals to provide high quality display on LCD Television sets or LCD monitors. They are available in single link and dual link variety.

Types of DVI Cable

There are three types of DVI Cables. They are:

  • DVI-D (Digital)
  • DVI-A (Analog)
  • DVI-I (Integrated)

DVI-D (Digital Video Interface – Digital)

As the name suggests, Digital Video Interface – Digital cables are used for digital displays. This cable is designed to transmit digital signals and DVI-D cables are the most widely used of all the DVI Cables. These cables work with both DVI-D and DVI-I connectors.

DVI-A (Digital Video Interface – Analog)

Digital Video Interface – Analog cables are used to transmit analog signals. Dual-link option is not available for these connectors.

DVI-I (Digital Video Interface – Integrated)

DVI – Integrated cables are used in the transmission of both analog and digital signals.

DVI Cable and Adapter

Fig. 2 – DVI Cable and Adapter

DVI Cable Connectors

There are two types of DVI Cable connectors. They are:

  • Single Link DVI Connector
  • Dual Link DVI Connector

Single Link DVI Connector

Single Link DVI Connector has 4 TDMS Links. TDMS refers to Transition Minimized Differential Signaling which is a method for transmitting high speed digital data. Single Link Cables support resolutions up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 Hz. Each link has three data channels with a maximum bandwidth of 165 MHz, which is equal to 165 million pixels a second. 12 of 24 pins is used in Single-Link.

Dual Link DVI Connector

Dual Link DVI Connector support resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 at 60 Hz. Like Single Link, Dual Link cables also has three data channels with a maximum bandwidth of 165 MHz, which is equal to 165 million pixels a second and uses all 24 pins.

Types of DVI Cables

Fig. 3 – Various Digital Video Interface Configuration

How to Identify Different DVI Configurations

Best way to distinguish between various DVI interfaces is through the identification of pin configurations. Now let us see the pin configurations of different types of DVI Cables.

  1. DVI-A interface consists of three rows of which first row has 5, second has 3 pins and third row has 4 pins with two contacts above and below the flat blade as shown in the Fig. 4.
  2. DVI-D Single Link has 3 rows of 6 pins and no contacts above or below the flat blade.
  3. DVI-D, Dual Link has 3 rows of 8 pins and no contacts above or below the flat blade.
  4. DVI-I Single Link has 3 rows of 6 pins and two contacts above and below the flat blade.
  5. DVI-I Dual Link has 3 rows of 8 pins and two contacts above and below the flat blade.

Physical View

Fig. 4 – Physical View of Digital Video Interface

Advantages of DVI Cable

The advantages include:

  • DVI Cables offer high image quality and superior resolution.
  • These cables can be hot plugged.
  • Performance is high.
  • They can be used on any device irrespective of OS (Operating System) being installed.
  • Signal distortion is negligible due to higher bandwidth that these cables provide.

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Laxmi Ashrit
Laxmi is a B.E (Electronics & Communication) and has work experience in RelQ Software as Test Engineer and HP as Technical support executive. She is an author, editor and partner at Electricalfundablog.
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