Improvements to driver assistance and self-driving systems hinge on collecting and using more data about a car’s surroundings. However, most vehicle networks were not built to support advanced features such as lane-keeping systems and multiple dash displays. As the industry moves toward self-driving and highly automated vehicles, automakers need new interfaces that can support new vehicle connectivity needs.
Q: What makes the newly released MIPI I3C® v1.1 different from v1.0, and why is it important to developers?
I see Version 1.0 as setting a new baseline. We came together to make an interface that would dramatically simplify the integration of sensors and address many of the key pain points that all of us in the industry were dealing with when working with I2C and SPI interfaces. We think we accomplished that with v1.0—anywhere sensors are used, MIPI I3C belongs. Now v1.1 is the first update to build on that foundation.
Earlier this year, the full lineup of MIPI debug and trace specifications was made available to the broader community, giving developers not only a standard, layered set of interfaces and protocols, but also an alternative to using expensive proprietary testing tools.
In recent articles in Electronics Media and Embedded Computing Design, Enrico Carrieri, chair of the MIPI Debug Working Group, shares how MIPI Alliance’s broad portfolio of debug and trace specifications can be used to streamline development for mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, automotive and many other applications.
Several months ago, MIPI I3C BasicSM, a subset of the MIPI I3C bus interface, was made available to the broader developer community without MIPI membership to foster greater interoperability and innovation in industries beyond mobile, including IoT and automotive.
Q: Briefly, how would you characterize the current automotive electronics market?
Despite stagnant vehicle production levels around the world and the tariff war’s impact on the semiconductor markets, the proliferation of electronics found in cars will still continue to grow. This growth is boosted by the connectivity, electrification and autonomy trends that have been taking shape for several years. The current disruption of the vehicle architecture represents a great challenge for the whole automotive electronics supply chain, and we are already seeing a lot of movement with startups, mergers, acquisitions and interesting partnerships at every level.
Q: In August 2018, MIPI Alliance announced development work had begun on MIPI A-PHYSM. What is A-PHY?
MIPI A-PHY is a physical layer specification targeted for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving systems (ADS) and other surround sensor applications in automotive (e.g., for displays, cameras), but also for other longer-reach applications such as IoT and industrial. While most MIPI specifications are designed for shorter reaches for use within mobile devices, A-PHY will be capable of reaching up to 15 meters in the demanding automotive environment.