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Explore D-PHY, C-PHY and M-PHY for imaging applications

Posted: 17 Dec 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MIPI Alliance  C-PHY  D-PHY  M-PHY  CSI-2 

The MIPI Alliance is all about helping companies interconnect components to create successful mobile designs and, as an organisation, they provide a selection of physical layer technologies to support a full range of application requirements. Companies developing new products can now select from MIPI C-PHY as well as newly updated MIPI D-PHY and MIPI M-PHY specifications, and then apply it to meet their needs in the best way possible. These specifications are broadening the variety of interface choices available to manufacturers and opening up new opportunities for companies to differentiate their product designs based on business-specific strategies or technology requirements.

Figure 1: A selection of physical layer technologies to support a full range of application requirements.

The world is moving towards a new era of imaging services where everyone talks about better selfies, camera image resolutions and display pixels density. As technology has improved, sensors can capture more colour information and can support more RGB/YCbCr multi-colour formats, and extra pixels are required to absorb intense colours. It is amazing how a display ecosystem can capture, process, store and transfer the image information to a device that can then project the information to a human visual system. To improve the image quality, the system needs improvements in each component at all the stages of the display ecosystem. MIPI Alliance understands this problem and the associated challenges, and strives to provide solution for mobile and mobile-influenced industries by offering different stacks and PHY options for each stage of imaging ecosystem. This provides faster response time with quick capture and image display.

Figure 2: Various stages of the display ecosystem.

MIPI D-PHY: The good man
The D-PHY has all good qualities and provides simple, scalable solutions, and serialises whatever is required. The D-PHY substantially increases the bandwidth (2.5 Gigabits per lane) for transferring more pixels while consuming very low power. In addition, it keeps low pin count that invariably saves power. Until now, everything was running perfectly fine and the industry looked quite satisfied. However, the only thing that is constant is change, and the same applies to imaging industry as well.

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