MIPI M-PHY v5.0 doubles peak data for latest flash memory storage - Embedded.com

MIPI M-PHY v5.0 doubles peak data for latest flash memory storage

Latest version of MIPI M-PHY doubles potential data rate compared with previous specification to 23.32 Gbps, and is optimized for applications needing high data rates, low pin counts, lane scalability and power efficiency.


The MIPI Alliance has announced the MIPI M-PHY v5.0 physical layer specification to double the peak data rate and support forthcoming MIPI UniPro v2.0 and JEDEC UFC releases.

The M-PHY v5.0 is a major update to the MIPI M-PHY physical-layer interface, providing the ability to connect the latest generation of flash memory-based storage and other high data rate applications in advanced 5G smartphones, wearables, PCs, industrial IoT, and automobiles. Version 5.0 of the M-PHY interface adds a fifth gear— high speed gear 5 (HS-G5) at 23.32 Gigabits per second (Gbps)—enabling engineers to double the potential data rate per lane compared with the previous specification. M-PHY v5.0 also responds to a range of other ecosystem requirements for connecting flash memory storage, such as ongoing innovation of the JEDEC Universal Flash Storage (UFS) standard.

MIPI M-PHY is a versatile physical layer targeting applications with a particular need for high data rates, low pin counts, lane scalability and power efficiency. Key applications include connecting flash memory storage, cameras and RF subsystems, as well as providing chip-to-chip inter-processor communications (IPC). For JEDEC UFS, M-PHY serves as the physical layer for MIPI UniPro, and together both specifications have been incorporated into multiple versions of UFS over the last decade.

MIPI M-PHY v5.0 is designed to support the forthcoming MIPI UniPro v2.0 and JEDEC UFS releases. In addition to doubling the data rate to a maximum of 23.32 Gbps per lane to satisfy the storage ecosystem’s growing data rate requirements, v5.0 introduces several new capabilities intended to optimize the M-PHY interface:

  • Data rates have been optimized for target applications, simplifying phased lock loop (PLL) implementation and eliminating design complexity.
  • High-speed startup reduces latency, for example, when accessing flash memory on power up.
  • Eye monitoring visualizes signal health, enhancing debug functionality.
  • New attributes for equalization and other electrical updates to HS-G5 improve the suitability of M-PHY for ultra-high data rate applications.

The new version of the specification also streamlines M-PHY, making several legacy features optional and further improving latency performance, boosting power efficiency and making implementation smoother and faster. M-PHY v5.0 is backward compatible through v4.1 of the specification, and an updated conformance test suite for v5.0 is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

“The significant data rate and flexibility updates delivered in MIPI M-PHY v5.0 are the product of real-world feedback from the large base of implementers in a broad ecosystem,” said Joel Huloux, chairman of MIPI Alliance. “Many of the enhancements in v5.0 come from our close relationship with the JEDEC UFS community, and such cross-industry collaboration is key to fueling and aligning innovation to better serve the global flash memory storage market.”

As an example of this two-way collaboration, the organization highlighted that just as JEDEC UFS users helped influence MIPI M-PHY v5.0 development, members of the MIPI M-PHY Working Group likewise created a specification-measurement scheme around reference-clock and jitter parameters that was delivered to JEDEC for inclusion in the UFS specification. “We wanted to offer this guidance since the UFS specification would be defining parameters that would have a direct effect on M-PHY’s performance,” said Kirill Dimitrov, chair of the M-PHY Working Group. “This close collaboration ensures that the specifications are fully aligned and ready for implementation within the ecosystem.”

The M-PHY Working Group said it already working on evaluating needs for the next version of the specification. For example, the requirements of the automotive industry will factor especially heavily in the specification’s evolution, and the working group hopes to see more original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) from that segment join the development effort. “We’re particularly interested in additional guidance from carmakers so we can better understand their requirements and how those might be different from other ecosystems and other use cases,” Dimitrov said.

MIPI M-PHY v5.0 is available to MIPI Alliance members and can be downloaded from the member portal on the MIPI Alliance website.

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