Interested in an in-depth discussion of the I3C ecosystem and a look at the new features in MIPI I3C® v1.1? Join I3C Working Group Chair Ken Foust (Intel) for MIPI's second webinar of 2020, "Beyond Sensors: What's New in MIPI I3C v.1.1," on Wednesday, 12 February (08:00 Pacific).
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.
The MIPI Discovery and Configuration (MIPI DisCoSM) Base Specification, which simplifies the software integration of external devices in mobile and mobile-influenced systems, now forms the basis of a new specification for integrating MIPI I3C® components.
The growing range of DisCo specifications define the properties of MIPI devices and components, and conveys those properties to operating systems in an architecturally defined manner. The DisCo Base Specification, along with class specifications for various MIPI interfaces, eliminates much of the work of developing and implementing drivers for external devices. For system developers, this can shorten time to market and cut system development cost.
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.
At SEMI’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FLEX) and MEMS & Sensors Technical Congress (MSTC) conference last month in Monterey, Calif., much of the buzz surrounded the astonishing projected growth in the demand for sensors in virtually everything, from such seemingly diverse applications as autonomous driving systems to large-scale crop moisture management.
But regardless of whether these sensors will be targeted for wearables, industrial applications, automotive applications or agriculture, integration is key. And, anywhere sensors are used, MIPI I3C® offers the ability to simplify the integration process, reducing costs and speeding time to market. With this in mind, Ken Foust, sensor technologist at Intel, and chair of both the MIPI Sensor and I3C Basic Ad Hoc working groups, was invited to provide an update on MIPI I3C advancements since the specification was released to MIPI members in 2016.
When it was released in January 2017, the MIPI I3C specification came as a big relief to developers struggling to keep up with the proliferation of sensors in smartphones, semi-autonomous vehicles, drones and other mobile-connected products. From the start, we saw interest from companies large and small, and inside and outside of mobile, as well as other standards organizations, students, researchers and even hobbyists who welcomed it as a replacement to the aging, but ubiquitous I2C. To help spur innovation and grow the MIPI ecosystem, we just released MIPI I3C Basic v1.0, a subset of MIPI I3C that bundles the most commonly needed features, including: