UNH-IOL and Agilent Demonstrate MIPI Test Services at MWC

The University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) is demonstrating its MIPI testing services for mobile device component suppliers this week at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona. The UNH-IOL and Agilent Technologies are co-hosting the MIPI Test Corner, a section of the MIPI Alliance booth at the MWC.

Reporting from the show floor, Andy Baldman, senior technical staff member at the UNH-IOL, said booth visitors are participating in demonstrations of the rigorous conformance testing performed on the mobile-device components that implement MIPI specifications. The demonstrations at MWC focus on D-PHY, the current standard for physical layer signaling in camera and display interface applications.

At the show, Baldman, who also serves as vice chair of the MIPI Alliance’s PHY Working Group and co-chair of the Conformance Test Specification Subgroup within the MIPI Alliance, is using an Agilent Infiniium MSO9404A oscilloscope to perform testing on mobile components, including ones based on Synopsys’ DesignWare MIPI D-PHY IP solution. Combined with the UNH-IOL’s custom D-PHY GUI software, the Agilent platform provides the ability to capture and analyze D-PHY signaling in accordance with the UNH-IOL D-PHY Transmitter Physical Layer Conformance Test Suite.

The goal of the collaboration among the MIPI Alliance, UNH-IOL, and test and measurement equipment suppliers such as Agilent is to facilitate the production of low-cost mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, and ultrabooks that offer improved performance, higher resolution images, and superior video quality.

Baldman said many of the 70,000 attendees may not know what an oscilloscope is, but he reported active interest in the demonstrations from hardware engineers and component designers in attendance. He is also reaching out to handset vendors, who would not directly engage with UNH-IOL but could drive their component suppliers to use the lab's services to ensure their devices comply.

Baldman said the next steps with regard to the MIPI Allicance will center on the M-PHY. Both D-PHY and M-PHY support data transmissions over 30 cm of PCB trace or microcoax. D-PHY offers per-lane speeds from <10 to >80 Mb/s; M-PHY extends that up to 6 Gb/s per lane. Baldman noted that M-PHY is also supported in PCI Express and USB implementations.

 (For its part, in addition to supporting the UNH-IOL demonstration, Agilent is highlighting its new protocol testing solution for MIPI Alliance Gear2 DigRf v4 RFICs. The Agilent M9252A DigRF host adapter allows developers to speed testing and analysis of RFICs used in cellular phones, tablets and other mobile devices. At the MWC, the Agilent M9252A DigRF host adapter is being featured in demonstrations hosted by Ericsson. Click here for more.)

“MIPI Alliance is dedicated to addressing complexity and costs associated with mobile device production,” said Joel Huloux, Chairman of the Board of MIPI Alliance, in a press release. “Our focus on test and interoperability—as demonstrated by our MIPI Test Corner—translates into specifications which are designed for easy deployment by the mobile device ecosystem. We are pleased to see the UNH-IOL and Agilent demonstrate the testability of our D-PHY physical layer.”

The MIPI Alliance is a global, collaborative organization of companies that span the mobile ecosystem committed to defining and promoting interface specifications for mobile devices. These specifications simplify the interconnection of mobile components from different suppliers, helping handset manufacturers improve quality of video delivery, reduce power consumption, decrease cost of design, and speed product time-to-market. Since 2007 in partnership with the MIPI Alliance, the UNH-IOL has housed the MIPI Testing Consortium, a consortium dedicated to testing various MIPI specifications. The testing services offered through the MIPI Testing Consortium allow mobile component suppliers to identify and resolve conformance and interoperability issues early and verify that their mobile components will operate effortlessly with multiple vendors within the mobile ecosystem. Advanced testing at the UNH-IOL helps increase sales opportunities for mobile component suppliers because installation of components tested at the UNH-IOL provides increased assurance to handset manufacturers that their mobile devices will function properly for consumers.

Representing a collaboration of leaders from the mobile industry, the UNH-IOL MIPI Testing Consortium serves as a resource for test and measurement, mobile display, mobile camera, and chip companies to test their products and devices in conformance with MIPI specifications, such as D-PHY, with the guarantee that their results will remain confidential and secure. Upon successful completion of conformance testing, members of the MIPI Testing Consortium receive a report signifying that their products meet the requirements of MIPI specifications and therefore interoperate with multiple vendors and also demonstrate a high level of functionality and performance. In addition to working as an extension of member companies’ engineering teams during testing undertaken at the university, the UNH-IOL has created fixtures and test tools that aid MIPI Alliance members in performing testing in-house. More information on the UNH-IOL’s MIPI testing services, including the D-PHY testing being performed in the MIPI Test Corner, can be found at https://www.iol.unh.edu/services/testing/mipi/.

MIPI Alliance is a global, collaborative organization comprised of companies that span the mobile ecosystem and are committed to defining and promoting interface specifications for mobile devices. MIPI Specifications establish standards for hardware and software interfaces which drive new technology and enable faster deployment of new features and services. For more information, visit www.mipi.org.

Founded in 1988, the UNH-IOL provides independent, broad-based interoperability and standards conformance testing for data, telecommunications, and storage networking products and technologies. Combining extensive staff experience, standards bodies’ participation and a 32,000+ square foot facility, the UNH-IOL helps companies efficiently and cost effectively deliver products to the market. For more information, visit http://www.iol.unh.edu/.

(Correction 3/4/2013: Mr. Baldman's name was misspelled in two paragraphs in the original post.)

See related MWC news:

Second NI VST Extends Software-Designed Instrumentation Platform

Agilent Debuts Wireless Tester with Multiport Adapter for Manufacturing Test

Rohde & Schwarz Supports IEEE 802.11ac WLAN Signals to 160 MHz

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