Electronics and Semiconductors

New MIPI M-PHY® 4.0 Spec Available

13 August 2015

The MIPI Alliance has announced an updated version of the MIPI M-PHY spec, a physical layer interface supporting chip-to-chip and multimedia protocols and apps. The advancement of M-PHY, however, is not halted.

MIPI M-PHY lets designers implement essential high-speed applications while meeting the strict low-power and low-electromagnetic emissions requirements in the mobile environment. It supports chip-to-chip and multimedia applications based on native MIPI protocols and protocols supplied by external partner organizations. It also offers designers the use of optical media to extend options for routing high-speed connections inside a system.

The new release, v4.0, augments MIPI M-PHY’s performance, adding a fourth gear (Gear 4 at 11.6 Gbps) that enables designers to double the potential bandwidth per lane over the previous specification. It introduces adaptive receiver equalization that improves support for challenging channels and maintains the peak transmission rate of 11.6 Gbps/lane or 46.4 Gbps over four lanes. It also scales optical media converter (OMC) data rates up to Gear 4. This enables the building of connections that are meters in length to support MIPI M-PHY’s use on a greater number of devices and the growing market for mobile-influenced platforms, such as automotive systems.

“We are pleased to announce that MIPI M-PHY will deliver a peak data rate of 11.6 Gbps on one lane and increase bus and system efficiency,” says Joel Huloux, chairman of the board of MIPI Alliance. “The new specification dramatically bolsters performances and throughput of data transmitted on two pins and offers companies new opportunities to enhance the capabilities of protocols that operate on this technology.”

“I want to emphasize as well that advancement of M-PHY does not stop with this release,” says Henrik Icking, chair of the MIPI Alliance PHY working group. “The working group plans to continue evolving this versatile specification to meet future data transport needs for mobile and mobile-influenced ecosystems.”

Support for M-PHY v4.0 will be included in the next versions of MIPI UniProSM and MIPI CSI-3SM, which will undergo development later in 2015.

The specification’s double bandwidth will enable designers to deliver higher throughput and reduced latency as well as reducing the number of lanes to lower the costs. Reducing the number of lanes would support the use of UniPro on miniaturized printed circuit boards for wearable applications and benefit laptop or phone designs that require installation of interconnections within mechanical hinges. Cameras that use CSI-3, when based on UniPro enabled by M-PHY v4.0, will be able to transmit 4K video with 60 frames per second and 12 bits per pixel on a single differential pair.

MIPI M-PHY v4.0 is available, as well, to support external protocols. MIPI M-PHY is offered by MIPI Alliance along with the organization’s other two physical layer technologies—MIPI C-PHYSM and MIPI D-PHYSM. The new v4.0 release of MIPI M-PHY thus enhances the ecosystem of physical layer technologies that MIPI Alliance develops to support a range of application requirements.

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