Silicon Line unveils first MIPI D-PHY optical bridge IC for mobile phones

March 03, 2011 // By Paul Buckley
Silicon Line GmbH has introduced an optical bridge IC targeted at mobile phones using the latest MIPI Alliance based D-PHY standard.

The SL83014 is used to optically connect displays, cameras and application processors and enables the replacement of traditional electrical connectors with optical connectors.

Data rates inside a mobile phone are rising due to consumer demand for high resolution displays, full HD video cameras and 3D displays and cameras. These high data rates generate EMI when traditional electrical cables are used to transport the data.  This can degrade the RF performance of the phone. Optical connectors do not suffer from these EMI issues. In addition, optical connectors are thin, small and flexible and so enable slim form factor designs and also designs with moving parts such as hinges or sliders.

The SL83014 can be configured as a serializer or a de-serializer. When used as a serializer the SL83014 accepts up to four data lanes and a clock lane from a D-PHY master device and serializes the data for transfer over a high speed optical link. When used as a de-serializer the SL83014 accepts the data from the high speed optical link and de-serializes the data into a maximum of four data lanes and a clock lane which are then connected to a D-PHY slave device. In this way optical D-PHY connectors can be used instead of electrical connectors.

Both HS (high speed, from 80 Mbps to 1 Gbps) and LP (low power, up to 10 Mbps) forward data transfer modes are supported. The SL83014 also includes an optional galvanic link feature which can be used for bi-directional LP data transfer. The ultra-low power consumption of SL83014 makes it ideally suited for use within mobile phones.

An SL83014 based optical bridge can be used to connect an application processor to a display in order to transmit image data to the display using the MIPI Alliance DSI (Display Serial Interface) standard. The device can also be used to connect a camera module to the applications processor in order to transmit image data to