Interface to the mobile

Seiko Epson and Renesas Technology have jointly developed a new high-speed serial interface designed specifically for transferring text and graphics data between internal devices in mobile communications equipment.

The news comes just two months after designers at National Semiconductor revealed that they too had developed something rather similar – their Mobile Pixel Link (MPL) physical layer is also a new serial interface for camera phones and small form factor displays.

The Seiko/Renesas specification, dubbed the Mobile Video Interface, is available on a license-free basis to any mobile device manufacturers and semiconductor manufacturers. By making it license free, Seiko and Epson are hoping to accelerate the adoption of the interface.

The interface itself has eight physical signal lines and can support a maximum transmission length of 20 cm. The interface uses a single-edge synchronised clocking method for data transfer which can be up to a speed of a 200 Mbit/sec per channel.

Although the interface supports both full duplex and half duplex communications modes, when communications are mostly unidirectional, use of half-duplex mode can further reduce the number of physical signals used.

The companies expect that the first products to use the Mobile Video Interface will be available in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Devices that support version 2.0 of the interface, which will support data transfer at the higher rate of 400 Mbit/sec, should be released in the second quarter of 2005.