Discussing and sharing opinions is what drives our industry forward; however sharing ideas becomes more challenging in our time where competition is intense. This is true for any industry but even more relevant to the high-pace mobile market where wrong move can cost you a fortune. It is that important then to stay connected and aligned with market trends so you’re not caught off guard and mitigate design and market risks while enabling to take a leadership position.
The MIPI alliance announced the release of M-PHY v3.0 in Barcelona which solidifies the Gear3 and other specs enhancements. From the press release I can quote this:M-PHY® v3.0 delivers a low-power, scalable physical layer with a data rate range nearing 6Gbps. CSI-3 has been adopted and is available for MIPI Alliance members. LLI v2.0 and M-PHY® v3.0 are scheduled for adoption by the end of April 2013.
I spent last week at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, where Synopsys also demonstrated our D-PHY, CSI-2 and DSI protocols running in hardware and connecting to Agilent test equipment and UNH conformance test suite.
I was approached by many readers asking for more information about integration of UFS in their SoC platform. As the information provided on the Synopsys MIPI web site gives you a good overview of the Synopsys UniPro controller and UFS Host controller it does not give you the high level view of what is delivered or what you need to integrate the Analog and Digital components in your SoC or storage IC. We have another resource for you, please reference this article: Building High-Performance Interfaces for Storage, Camera and Displays Using UniPro and UFS Controller IP which gives you an overview of our M-PHY, UniPro, UFS solutions, illustrating how they are used in a semiconductor environment and also provide some details about our FPGA prototyping platform to enable your system prototyping requirements.
JEDEC UFS (Universal Flash Storage) v1.1 is a standard promoted by JEDEC JC64.1 aiming to replace eMMC for scalable and high performance non-volatile memory interface in mobile and consumer electronics. The same JEDEC JC64.1 is the group that develops eMMC meaning that they see the transition from eMMC to UFS and are prepared to that. It’s fair to assume that UFS will be used in high end mobile applications first like high end smartphones, tablets and Ultrabooks and compete with eMMC on some of the lower end applications. Long term and assuming high volume manufacturing reduces UFS device costs we will see UFS replacing eMMC but there is a long way to go until we reach that time.
I cover topics about low power and mobile applications in the past years but there is something that is often neglected. It comes at the expense of lowering the power and it is performance. We can argue that minimizing power consumption is dependent on what kind of power we’re reducing (for example static or leakage vs. dynamic power) and its effect of the performance but we know that there is no void in physics and Higher Voltage threshold for example reduces leakgae but affects max performance. The problem we have is that as much as we need lower leakage power and lower dynamic power to prolonge the battery life between charges, we also need high performance as we don’t want to wait for an application to load itself or transfer data to our mobile device. As part of my role I track the operating performance of Image sensors and Displays and one of the good measurements is the maximum bandwidth used by the camera interface CSI-2 and display interface DSI. I discussed this with David Wolfe (reference my interview with David here) and he provided me some statistics observed as part conducting interoeprability events in the past years.
We participated at Mobile Expo as part of the MIPI alliance booth and had hardware demonstration showing our complete and interoperable CSI-2 and DSI host interfaces.
We typically refer to mobile solutions in the context of consumers as these mobile devices are used in our daily life for fun, accessing information, watching movies and similar tasks. We also use these Mobile electronics for work related tasks: phone calls, texting, email, business apps and for accessing / sending information.