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MIPI IP segment to reach $100M? Yes, …

MIPI IP segment to reach $100M? Yes, …
by Eric Esteve on 04-04-2014 at 10:00 am

… in 2019. At that time, the total Interface IP market is expected to weight between $900 million and $1 billion. If we want to understand this IP market segment dynamics, we have to look at protocol based products like USB (from USB 1.0 defined in 1996 at 12 Mbit/s to USB 3.1 supporting 10 Gbps data rate) or PCI Express (from PCIe gen-1 defined in 2003 at 2.5 Gbps to the soon to be released PCIe gen-4 at 16 Gbps). Each of these segments represents a close to $100 million market today. MIPI adoption rate has been slow at the beginning in the mid-2000’s, but multiples specifications have been defined since then, creating a real emerging IP market in 2013, weighting as much as the PCIe IP market in 2006. Moreover, the explosion of smartphones shipments and the massive move toward everything “Mobile” has attracted the chip makers and multiplied the opportunities for the IP vendors to sale MIPI IP. Last, but certainly not least, the clear wireless and mobile IC leader, Qualcomm, is also the chip maker most supporting MIPI.

MIPI follows the trends in the Electronic industry: the massive move from parallel to serial interconnect, as illustrated by PCI Express replacing PCI, SATA replacing PATA, HDMI or DisplayPort replacing LVDS based interconnect to Display material (computer screen or HDTV) etc… Using similar technologies in Mobile Devices is a natural move, but a specific attention has been taken to power consumption. MIPI has been specifically designed for portable electronic devices, battery powered, and lowering the power consumption is a key feature.

In this survey, we have started to look at the MIPI use in the Mobile Handset segment and first derive a forecast in term of Integrated Circuits (IC) because we think that the more widely MIPI will be used in chips in production, the more stable and easier to manage the protocol will be. When more IC is in production means more efficient –and cheaper- test program, leading to a null or marginal impact on yield. More identical IC in production also means cheaper production cost and consequently a lower Average Selling Price (ASP). We forecast MIPI powered IC shipments to be in the 5 Billion in 2014, passing the 10 Billion IC in production in 2017. Such a virtuous cycle is expected to lead to a wider adoption for MIPI technology.

In fact, we consider that MIPI is integrated in the vast majority of the smartphones, at least through DSI and CSI-2 specification, but also through Universal Flash Storage (UFS) integrating UniPro, UFS and M-PHY, and, to a lower extend, with Low Latency Interface (LLI), DigRF, SSIC or M-PCIe. We also expect some of the featured phone designs to integrate DSI and/or CSI-2 and the high hand media tablet to integrate MIPI specification, as the smartphone Application Processor are commonly integrated into the tablet. We have seen that the smartphone and tablet sales explosion is nowadays coming from Asia, going with the emergence of multiple wireless start-up, these being good candidate for MIPI IP external sourcing, unlike the well-established historical players.

All of them selecting the technology to get full benefit, on top of the low power consumption, from MIPI usage:

  • Standardized Interconnect protocol: an OEM can run seamless integration in the system of the different IC, providing they comply with the same MIPI Interfaces.
  • Interchange suppliers at low risk: an OEM can easily move from one IC supplier to another for the same function (for example a camera controller IC), at least at the Interface level
  • There are different specifications for the Controller (CSI, DSI, LLI and so on), but only two for the PHY (D-PHY and M-PHY): many specifications, but an easier learning curve to physically interface the application processor with Camera, Display, Modem, Mass Storage, WLAN, Remote Coprocessor…! In fact, we should say three, counting the soon to be released C-PHY specification, which is expected to replace D-PHY for the chip makers allergic to M-PHY…

In the survey we propose the 2010 to 2013 actual results by IP vendor, as well as a 2011 to 2020 forecast. This forecast has been made by market segment:

  • Wireless handset
  • PC and Media Tablet
  • Consumer Electronic (CE), Industrial, Medical and IoT

We have also organized these data by MIPI IP type: PHY or Controller IP (see Table)

We provide license price indication, by technology for the PHY specifications. We also propose a review of the different IP vendors actively marketing MIPI PHY IP, or Controller IP or both. This competitive analysis could benefit to:

  • MIPI new adopters, or the chip makers integrating MIPI in devices serving wireless handset segment (smartphone or not), Media Tablet and PC and Consumer Electronic segments,
  • IP vendors, who desire to develop a new IP business or consolidating existing business and invest resources on line with MIPI IP business potential.
  • VIP vendors who invest into this new source of business, after having supported USB, SATA, PCI Express…

This MIPI IP survey or one of the two previous versions has been sold to IP vendors (already supporting MIPI or in the decision process to support these specifications), VIP vendor and chip makers. This report is unique: it’s the only one where the reader can find both an IC and an IP forecast for MIPI, as well as a competitive analysis of the IP –and VIP- vendors. As such, if your company is or will be involved into MIPI, you need to have it.

Table of Content for “MIPI IP 2010-2013 Survey – Forecast 2011-2020” available here

From Eric Esteve from IPNEST

More Articles by Eric Esteve…..

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