UFS is gaining momentum with more phones such as Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G5, and potentially more phones are coming to the market in 2nd half of 2016 with UFS memory on board. The performance improvements from the mainstream, mature eMMC allows SoCs targeting high end phones a way to differentiate and provide a much better user experience.
In the last post I asked what is MIPI Alliance’s most popular specification in terms of adoption as of today.
Posted in Application processor, Baseband processor, Camera, CSI, D-PHY, DigRF, Display, DSI, Image signal processor, LLI, M-PHY, MIPI alliance, Mobile PCIe, RFFE, RFIC, SLIMbus, Smartphone, SoC, SSIC, Storage, Tablet, UFS, Unipro
I got several inquiries about adoption rate of physical layers across the mobile and adjacent industries after posting the video showing D-PHY v1.2 silicon on 16nm I realize that it’s debatable if it’s fair to compare one spec vs the other. However, I would like to note that de-facto standard has a lot of weight and it is what sets it apart compared to other potential specifications which only a few vendors select. Once a certain standard is well adopted across the industry, it establishes an entrenched position and cannot be replaced instantly. Any potential replacement standard need to take into consideration backwards compatibility to ensure vendor’s investment in the de-facto standard continues to bear fruits. It requires a phased approach towards replacing a successful standard and it’ll only be possible if the replacement standard has proven benefits compared to the de-facto standard and that the transition period is not long and not painful.
JEDEC UFS is an Accredited Standard, developed and adopted through an open consensus process, under the guidelines of JEDEC. The power of having a standard is that the industry has recognized a useful way to implement things both technically and economically, and through the procedure governed by the standard body (JEDEC for example) enable vendors to develop standard-compliant products and encourage a robust, interoperable eco-system. Standards reduce time to market benefiting the industry and end consumers as technical needs are met and cost goes down with increased maturity.
We live in a challenging era where a lot of information is presented to us and it is hard distill what’s important and where to invest our time.
With the rumors about UFS going mainstream with first introduction in Samsung Galaxy S6 phone expected next year (2015), I wanted to raise what I see as a repeat concern when discussing adoption of new standard (such as UFS). A key challenge in today’s mobile IC and electronics design is the ability to meet time to market window, get your system up and running with new standards and interoperate with other devices. This is particularly true for JEDEC UFS v2.0 which is fairly new standard that the indusrty is gearing up to mass production of the first UFS devices and Application Processors targeted to be available in the hands of customers in 2015.
MIPI Alliance’s M-PHY specification v3.0 provides a solid specification targeted to a variety of applications in the mobile electronics space. I hear some concerns about that this technology is new and engineers prefer to wait for the adoption to pick up before they use it.
MIPI M-PHY is a promising technology, intended to be used across multiple applications and utilized by standard organizations such as JEDEC for UFS, USB for SSIC, and PCI-SIG for Mobile PCIe. We have been working in the past several months to develop and prove M-PHY in HS-Gear3 operation as the specification evolves in the MIPI PHY Work group. Our deep involvement in the group allowed us to develop the M-PHY which is fully compliant to the latest M-PHY v3.0 specification. In March 2013 during the MIPI Face-to-face meeting we demonstrated M-PHY operation in HS-Gear3 and showed it to everyone on the floor. I received a lot of requests to share the video of this demo and now it is ready.
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.