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iPad’s Retina LCD Can Connect To A PC With This Cool Hack

iPad’s Retina LCD Can Connect To A PC With This Cool Hack

This might just be the best quality screen that a PC can run on. Hacker emeryth managed to hook up a PC to the panel of a Retina display iPad, creating one heck of a nice image (via Macgasm). Wowzers!

Be warned, it is a complicated process reserved for only some of us, as you’ll see below.

retina pc hack



What is great about this panel (except its resolution) is that it has an eDisplayPort interface (which is supposed to replace LVDS in the near future), and as this hack proves it is compatible  with traditional DisplayPort outputs found on all modern video cards.

The panel is also surprisingly cheap – I got mine on ebay for $55, shipped from China. 

Hoping that eDisplayPort is compatible with regular DisplayPort (I couldn’t find conclusive proof of this), I went on to interface the panel with a DP cable. 

Creating the PCB was fairly straightforward, I just had to route all the FPC connector pins out to pads where I would solder DP cable wires. It was possible on a single-sided home-made board.
I tried to make the traces for DP lanes to be of the same length (that’s very important for high speed differential signals), and as it turns out, either my PCB design is pretty good, or DisplayPort is very forgiving. 🙂

Soldering everything was a little difficult, the FPC connector has tiny pins, but they stick out a little bit, so it’s doable with a regular soldering iron.

After the PCB was done, I cut open a DP cable and soldered all the wires in their places.

Unfortunately there is no standard for wire colors, so I had to open up the DP plug to trace them to the correct pins.

The full diagram of the circuit board is available on github, and if you know what you’re doing, this could be pretty cool and cheap.