MIPI® Alliance speeds up M-PHY and expands UniPro specifications for mobile devices

June 25, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
MIPI Alliance has announced the next generation of two specifications designed to dramatically improve data transport performance in mobile devices.

M-PHY v2.0 offers an optimized scalable physical layer with bandwidth speeds reaching 2.9 Gbps per lane. The UniPro v1.41 updates the specification, focusing on the M-PHY physical layer to provide a unified, layered protocol stack.

Combined, these two specifications deliver the highest performance and most power efficient data transport interface technology available today. M-PHY v2.0 has been adopted and is available for MIPI Alliance members. UniPro v1.41 is scheduled for adoption by the end of July 2012.

In addition to supporting smartphones and full-function phones, both M-PHY and UniPro are suitable for other applications including tablets/netbooks, digital cameras, high speed memory storage and multimedia devices. The benefits of these high bandwidth, high performing interface technologies also address the needs any portable consumer electronics device which must process large amounts of data with a low power threshold.

M-PHY v2.0 is a high bandwidth serial interface with an exceptionally wide data rate range spanning 10 kbps to near 6 Gbps. Bandwidth can be scaled based on the application needs, by selecting from several available transmission rates or by scaling up to multiple transmission lanes, making M-PHY a very flexible physical layer. Multiple transmission modes plus a low energy per bit threshold rate equals significant power efficiency. In addition, M-PHY is optical friendly, providing mobile product designers with an optional low-complexity electro-optical signal conversion and transport for additional assembly and reliability benefits.

The M-PHY physical layer is designed as the primary interface for MIPI's transport layer UniPro. This connection is accomplished via UniPort-M, the actual port coupling the two layers. By specifying a dedicated port, MIPI can insure that high performance data transport is maintained.

Building on the M-PHY physical layer, UniPro v1.41 leverages a stack of protocol layers, serving as a high performance processing pipeline for data units. It is suitable for a wide range of component types including application processors, co-processors and modems, as well as different types of data traffic.