What is M-PHY interface | Advantages of M-PHY protocol

This page describes M-PHY (MIPI Physical layer) protocol basics. It mentions benefits or advantages of M-PHY interface.

Introduction : M-PHY is a physical layer developed for DigRFv4, LLI, Unipro, CSI-3 and DSI-2 protocols developed by MIPI Alliance. It supports UFS protocol standard developed by JEDEC and SSIC protocol standard developed by USB-IF. M-PHY is used in mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets etc. for chip to chip communication. MIPI Alliance develops hardware and software interface specifications for mobile devices. The popular physical layer standards include C-PHY, D-PHY, M-PHY, HSI, Slimbus, DigRF etc. M-PHY is successor of D-PHY layer. M-PHY and D-PHY physical layers are reusable and scalable for different components in a mobile terminal. M-PHY specifications with different versions 2.0, 3.0, 4.1 and 5.0 have been published.

What is M-PHY ?

M-PHY interface supports data rates greater than 5 Gbps. In M-PHY, clock signal is embedded with data frame using 8b/10b encoding technique. It is optical friendly interface. It supports data transfer in two modes viz. burst mode and continuous mode and supports both HS (High Speed)/LS (Low Speed) modes. Low speed mode supports both PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) and NRZ (Non Return to Zero) signaling modes. It supports large amplitude and small amplitude drive strengths. It supports two types of modules (Type-I and Type-II).

M-PHY Interface

As shown in the figure, M-PHY link consists of minimum two uni-directional lanes. Each lane consists of M-TX module which communicates with M-RX module on another chip via two differential lines. The differential lines carry both HS and LS signals.

Following are the features of M-PHY physical layer protocol developed by MIPI Alliance.
• Supports signaling speeds from 10 kbit/sec to 11.6 Gbit/sec per lane and supports 1-4 lanes
• Serial interface with embedded clock using 8b10b symbol encoding/decoding scheme
• M-PHY supports various states viz. LS burst, HS burst, STALL, HIBERN8 and SLEEP
• Supports Type-I and Type-II LS modes

Benefits or advantages of M-PHY layer

Following are the benefits or advantages of M-PHY layer:
➨It offers improved performance and effective power management.
➨It is robust against RF interference and generates low RF emission.
➨For power saving, M-PHY uses low power modes, switchable termination and programmable low amplitude.
➨It offers high speed greater than 5 Gbps with the help of differential signaling.
➨It requires fewer signal wires (i.e. fewer pins) as it uses 8b/10b encoding in which clock is embedded with data.
➨It provides more bandwidth per pin in addition to improvement in power efficiency.
➨To support flexible bandwidth, M-PHY supports variable number of links/sub-links/data lanes.

➨Also refer advantages or benefits of
Unipro interface protocol >>, SLIMbus interface protocol >> and SoundWire interface protocol >>.

Refer advantages and disadvantages of following interface protocols.
UART,   SPI,   I2C,   I2S,   Serial interface,   Parallel interface

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