Tektronix test tools for MIPI M-PHY v3.1 now available

Tektronix, Inc .  has just rolled out for developers of a range of mobile device platorms a set of tools for characterization and debugging of the just approved MIPI M-PHY v3.1 specification.

According Brian Reich, general manager, Performance Oscilloscopes, Tektronix, the tools now available include support for MIPI M-PHY High Speed Gears 1, 2 and 3, PWM Mode (G0-G7), and SYS Mode when used with Tektronix MSO/DPO 70000DX oscilloscopes. and P7600 series probes.

He said MIPI M-PHY serial interface technology is gaining broad adoption for next generation mobile devices, offering high bandwidth, low pin count and very good power efficiency. The latest v3.1 specification provides an even more robust low power PHY and presents some significant challenges for oscilloscope measurements and probing including minimizing common mode loading on the device under test (DUT) and signal fidelity requirements such as wide bandwidth, low noise, and high sensitivity.

“We’re seeing a growing emphasis on performance in mobile device design, meaning that more and more designs are incorporating MIPI M-PHY Gear 3 to operate at the highest data rate possible under the MIPI M-PHY specifications,” said Reich. “This in turn has introduced new signal acquisition challenges due to the combination of low amplitude signals and high-speeds. “

He said testing MIPI M-PHY transmitters running in high-speed mode requires a scope and probe system with rise time 3X faster than the signal rise time, sensitivity of 200 mVFS, minimal added noise (<1 or 2 mVrms), and high return loss as specified in the MIPI M-PHY standard.

He feels that Tektronix MSO/DPO 70000DX oscilloscopes and P7600 Series TriMode probes are the only measurement system available that can meet these requirements while also providing convenient and consistent bus termination for HS measurements with low noise and high sensitivity. The closest alternative has 10X worse sensitivity

Support for M-PHY HS Gear 4 is especially important, he said, because the MIPI Alliance is developing the next generation of this that will increase data rates.

“This will introduce the need for new measurement methodologies and equalization techniques,” said Reich. “Characterization of the bit error ratio (BER) of devices requires a breakdown of the impact of both jitter and noise.

“At the receiver side, the eye will be completely closed due to attenuation of the signal and equalization will be needed. “

Keeping an eye of this Tektronix has made sure, he said, that its DPOJET and SDLA (Serial Data Link Analysis), tools are well positioned to meet these needs by providing both jitter and noise analysis displayed using full contours, along with receiver equalization for HS Gear 4.

For debug and analysis, the Tektronix M-PHYTX test solution along with Tektronix Visual Trigger and DPOJET Jitter and Timing Analysis will make it possible for engineers to quickly identify and debug issues during device characterization. For MIPI M-PHY receiver testing, Tektronix offers both BERT and cost-saving Arbitrary Waveform Generator (AWG) solutions. Competitive offerings are limited to BERT-based options.

In addition, Tektronix,  has partnered with Prodigy to provide a protocol decode solution for SSIC, the bus interface between the applications processor and interfaces such as modem, companion chips and wireless LAN. He said Tektronix also provides full protocol decode and analysis solution for MIPI M-PHY, MIPI DigiRFv4, MIPI UniPro and MIPI LLI protocols.

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