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MIPI Drives Performance for Next-Generation Displays

The history of MIPI display technology, (DSI and DSI-2), MIPI display markets, and the emerging bandwidth gap given the performance requirements of next- generation displays.

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In late 2000, Nokia announced its iconic 3310 handset which featured an 84×48-pixel pure monochrome display. Seven years later, Apple unveiled its first iPhone with a 90mm (3.5”) screen and 320×480-pixel resolution (at 163 ppi). Cameras and high-quality displays quickly became the de-facto standard for smartphones by the mid-2000s. However, proprietary interface solutions for connecting cameras and displays to mobile processors lacked the standardization needed to make sense of the chaos of sourcing these components in a rapidly growing mobile phone market.

The Mobile Industry Processor Interface (MIPI®) Alliance was formed in 2003 to address the fragmentation in the essential video interface technologies for cameras and displays in phones. In later years, the alliance significantly expanded its scope to publish specifications covering physical layer, multimedia, chip-to-chip, control/data, and debug/trace and software. With its broader mission, “MIPI” became a name rather than an acronym for the MIPI Alliance.

Initially, MIPI competed with MDDI (Mobile Display Digital Interface) for the title of industry standard. Although there was a short-lived market for MDDI-to-MIPI bridge chips, the low power, low-latency, scalable performance of MIPI, combined with broader industry support, prevailed. Today more than a billion phones (1.7B in 2019) and 100 million tablets ship annually with MIPI- standardized technology for their cameras and displays.

In this white paper, we will explore the history of MIPI display technology, (DSI and DSI-2), MIPI display markets, and the emerging bandwidth gap given the performance requirements of next- generation displays.

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