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MIPI Beyond Mobile, Semiwiki Blogger Paper at #52DAC!

MIPI Beyond Mobile, Semiwiki Blogger Paper at #52DAC!
by Daniel Nenni on 06-03-2015 at 10:00 am

IoT or wearable: it’s fascinating to see how many articles, blogs, and comments have been posted about them during the last two years! IoT business potential is huge as are the number of possible applications. If we summarize the functions within a wearable system we can count:

[LIST=1]

  • CPU: it can be a standard Microcontroller or an embedded CPU core (IP)
  • Wireless communication sub-system (ZigBee, BLE, WiFi, etc.)
  • Display device (screen)
  • Sensor(s)
  • Camera and Sound (both optional)

    What is most important for a wearable device? I would put ultra low power consumption (or power efficiency) as the very first and TTM a close second. The equation can be synthesized as: a successful wearable device will need internal interfaces between the chip being designed for low power, functionally and silicon proven to accelerate Time-To-Market, and sized for Mobile application. Does this ring a bell?

    MIPI specifications from the MIPI Alliance have been successfully integrated into smartphones and even low cost phones for years. A quick evaluation suggests that about 7 to 10 billion MIPI powered chips have been in production this last year. It’s tantalizing to imagine that some of these MIPI specifications could be used to support wearable applications! The paper to be presented at DAC IP track by Semiwiki blogger Eric Esteve “MIPI Beyond Mobile” is trying to give some answers. Just to clarify, this paper has been written from the results of the “MIPI Ecosystem Survey” generated by IPnest (5 to 6 weeks of full time work). It’s not an opinion but the result of systematic research. One of the key findings is synthetized in the above table “MIPI Specification Adoption in Mobile (phone and media tablet)”. Because MIPI specifications were originally developed to support these applications this table is our reference, based on facts.

    We clearly see that the Multimedia specifications for Camera and Display have the higher adoption rate. Soundwire adoption looks low but when you consider that the preliminary specification had been released a few weeks before the survey there is no doubt that this 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] Multimedia specification has a bright future!

    Still in Mobile, the Radio frequency (RF) specifications, DigRF, and RFFE are seeing a good level of adoption. They are almost at the same level as Universal Flash Specification and UniPro, both being used together to support the interface with MIPI powered flash.

    Just a word about the various PHY specifications (D-PHY, C-PHY and M-PHY). To support a Camera, Display, DigRF, and UFS you need to implement one of these. I could try to explain how to select one PHY or another but it would require many more words than I have left here! Just keep in mind that the lower speed D-PHY (up to 2.5 GTransfer/s and per lane) is the most commonly used because the cost of ownership (development or IP cost and area impact) is lower.

    The paper to be presented at the DAC IP Track will address the following questions:

    • Which specifications are expected to be used in IoT? In Wearable? In Automotive?
    • Can we find a correlation between these emerging segments and the geographical locations? The company type (small or large company, long time established or start-up)?
    • What will the impact be on the IP business of these emerging applications? What is the impact of the emerging (Asian) chip makers targeting mobile on this IP business?

    Just come to the IP Track 23, Dr. Eric Esteve will answer these questions and more. If you can’t attend DAC in San Francisco the presentation will be posted by the DAC committee after the conference.

    I hope to see you there!


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