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A Growing MIPI Ecosystem is Good for Smartphone and Tablet Designs

By Chris Loberg

Given the explosive growth in all things mobile, the outlook for the MIPI Alliance is stronger than ever. Since its formation in the mid-2000s, the MIPI Alliance has grown to over 275 member companies. To gain insights into why this growth is occurring, take a few minutes to watch the video below featuring MIPI Alliance members (including Tektronix’ Ellen Shen) talking about the value of MIPI membership.

An open membership non-profit corporation, MIPI Alliance continues to evolve its roadmap that began with a focus to standardize low-power display and camera interfaces in smartphones but has now grown to include a wide array of end-product designs and a broad set of high-performance serial I/O specifications.

Driven by the Android and iOS operating systems and fast 4G networks application, content and related performance demands are growing relentlessly. This in turn places more pressure on smartphone and tablet suppliers to design higher-performance, yet more energy-efficient devices.

At the core of this activity, the MIPI Alliance provides companies with the structure needed to scale their designs quickly while maintaining industry-wide acceptance. Starting with a single lower-speed PHY (D-PHY), MIPI has since released specs for M-PHY and C-PHY -- both of which support higher bandwidth in an efficient manner.

Each of these PHYs comes with a Compliance Test Spec (CTS) which provides the ecosystem of chip, board and end-product designers with a common reference for acceptable I/O performance that can be verified with test instruments like the Tektronix DPO70000 Series Oscilloscope and AWG70000 Arbitrary Waveform Generator. The availability of these CTS documents is a sign of the industry’s maturity analogous to the traditional computer industry, which rode a wave of innovation and performance increases through industry-supported standards USB (USB-IF) and PCI Express (PCI-SIG) among others. Each standard came with a well-vetted compliance test spec and industry-supported testing events that continue to exist today with participation from test vendors like Tektronix.

As the MIPI Alliance continues to grow and reach more of the design community expect Tektronix to remain in the center of it with CTS authoring and testing guidance at industry events like the one in Shanghai highlighted in the video. For more information on Tektronix’ support for the D-PHY, M-PHY and C-PHY standards go to