MHL Persevering with Alt Mode

MHL was at the show to promote itself and was, like VESA, focusing on its USB Type C “Alt” Mod. However, the group started by telling us about the latest design win – the inclusion of an MHL input on the LG UH9800, an 8K TV shown by LG at the show. This follows on from the demo of 8K MHL by Samsung at the 2015 show (SuperMHL Spec Allows One-Cable Connection for 8K content).

Apparently, there is work going on to develop device reference designs using the MHL “Alt” mode and the ecosystem of cables and connectors for Type C is improving all the time. MHL is promising some 2016 announcements “soon”.

As well as in CE devices, MHL is seen as useful in other applications and MHL is developing an Automotive-specific implementation. The group sees the interface as ideal for automotive applications, partly because, for example, touch panel data can be communicated back to the operating system from a display. (To be used widely in automotive, the interface has to be supported by operating systems such as QNX which is dominant in AV systems in cars. We are checking on this – Man. Ed.) MHL pointed out that the interface is agnostic about connectors, so something particular to automotive applications could be useful.

Analyst Comment

The loss of MHL support in Samsung’s S6 platform last year was quite a blow for MHL. It’s not clear at the moment that Samsung has included Type C into the upcoming S7, but any re-adoption of MHL would be very helpful for the standard. (BR)