The MIPI Alliance, an international organization that develops interface specifications for mobile and mobile-influenced industries, announced that development has been completed on A-PHY v1.1, the next version of the automotive serializer-deserializer (SerDes) physical-layer interface.
Version 1.1 will double the maximum available downlink data rate from 16 Gigabits per second (Gbps) to 32 Gbps and include other enhancements to help automotive OEMs and their suppliers implement high-performance image sensors and displays in next-generation vehicles. The specification is undergoing member review, with official adoption expected within the next 90 days.
MIPI A-PHY is the first industry-standard, long-reach, asymmetric SerDes interface to provide high-performance links between automotive image sensors and displays and their associated electronic control units (ECUs). It was developed to simplify the integration of greater numbers of onboard sensors and displays for applications such as advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), digital cockpits, in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) and autonomous driving systems (ADS).
A-PHY offers a reach of up to 15 meters, unprecedented reliability with an ultra-low packet error rate of 10-19, high noise immunity and ultra-low latency. It also forms the foundation of MIPI Automotive SerDes Solutions (MASS), an end-to-end framework for connecting cameras, sensors and displays with built-in functional safety, security and data protection.
A-PHY v1.1 doubles the total downlink data rate from 16 to 32 Gbps by adding support for Star Quad (STQ) shielded dual differential pair cables that provide dual differential pairs of conductors within a single shielded jacket. This enables two A-PHY ports over a single cable, saving cost, weight and complexity compared with using two separate coaxial or shielded twisted pair cables.
Version 1.1 will also add optional PAM4 encoding for A-PHY downlink gears G1 and G2, with data rates of 2 Gbps and 4 Gbps, respectively. PAM4 encoding features lower modulation bandwidth for sub-1 GHz operation, allowing manufacturers to more easily migrate to A-PHY while using either legacy cables on current platforms or lower-cost cables on new platforms.
The new version will also add a faster uplink gear with an available data rate of up to 200 Mbps, twice the rate of the existing 100 Mbps uplink gear, providing more bandwidth for command and control of automotive peripherals. A-PHY v1.1 will be fully interoperable with A-PHY v1.0, and devices using both specifications will be able to coexist on the same network.
These enhancements will enable automotive manufacturers to design next-generation applications that use the latest camera and display technologies, including higher-performance instrument clusters and infotainment displays, interior driver and passenger monitoring systems, virtual side mirrors and other ADAS, IVI and ADS applications.
“A-PHY continues to evolve to meet the ever-increasing demand for high-performance, end-to-end automotive connectivity solutions with high reliability, resiliency and interoperability,” said Joel Huloux, chairman of MIPI Alliance. “With unprecedented bandwidth and a growing number of implementation options, A-PHY is positioned to power the development of the next generation of safer, more connected and autonomous vehicles.”
Upon completion of the MIPI Alliance adoption process, A-PHY v1.1 will also be brought forward for adoption as an IEEE standard. Earlier this year, IEEE adopted A-PHY v1.0 as IEEE 2977-2021 following the October 2020 signing of an IEEE-MIPI memorandum of understanding to facilitate the adoption process within IEEE. IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity.
MIPI continues to offer new educational resources to system architects, engineers and automotive developers, including the newly published white paper, “An Introductory Guide to MIPI Automotive SerDes Solutions (MASS).” MIPI Alliance is also serving as a supporting organization for this week’s Automotive SerDes Conference and will host a virtual Automotive Workshop on November 17 to provide more education on its MASS framework.
About MIPI Alliance
MIPI Alliance (MIPI) develops interface specifications for mobile and mobile-influenced industries. There is at least one MIPI specification in every smartphone manufactured today. Founded in 2003, the organization has over 325 member companies worldwide and 14 active working groups delivering specifications within the mobile ecosystem. Members of the organization include handset manufacturers, device OEMs, software providers, semiconductor companies, application processor developers, IP tool providers, automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, and test and test equipment companies, as well as camera, tablet and laptop manufacturers.