Why MIPI DSI Interface Is the Top Choice for New Products
Nowadays, we’re spoiled by our digital world. We’ve got high-definition graphics, vibrant colors, and an unmatched visual experience that only seems to get better as time passes. Because of innovative display interface technology like the Mobile Industry Processor Interface Display Serial Interface (MIPI DSI), these experiences are our reality.
This particular interface was initially developed for use in smartphones and quickly became a common choice for tablets, the automotive industry, smartwatches, and other embedded displays, thanks to its functionality and efficiency. Fast forward to today, the MIPI DSI interface has become the go to interface for LCDs used in medical devices, industrial machinery, mining equipment and virtually all other safety critical applications.
But why has MIPI DSI become such a staple in LCD technology, and why has it become a go-to option for so many applications?
What is a MIPI DSI Interface?
The MIPI DSI is a high-speed interface developed by the MIPI Alliance. While other display interfaces, like parallel and RGB kinds, need a much higher number of pins to support the demanding resolution and refresh rates, the MIPI display can maintain that level of performance with fewer pin connections.
What Can a MIPI DSI Interface Do in LCD Applications?
MIPI displays are useful for delivering the high-level graphics that viewers deserve, with reduced complexities when it comes to hardware costs, signal routing, and circuit board design. That means benefits for both the user as well as the company producing the technology. Designers don’t have to struggle to balance the demands of display quality, power, and speed, as this sleek interface can incorporate low power and high speed all at once.
With all this in mind, MIPI is a clear choice in the display industry because there is such an ease of connection and support for high resolution and color depth. There are several important factors that make all small-screen LCDs great. People enjoy a long battery life, sharp colors, and a fast refresh rate – and the MIPI interface provides an LCD that checks all the boxes.
Comparing Display Interfaces
Previously, user interfaces used displays that were typically simple and monochromatic. They weren’t usually associated with dynamic visuals and striking colors and served more of a functional purpose. On the contrary, our current landscape is full of interactivity, full-color, and high-definition options, where the MIPI DSI has managed to surpass the reputation of many other competing interfaces. Let’s take a look at how MIPI interfaces compare with the others:
- MIPI DSI vs. HDMI: High-Definition Multimedia Interfaces (HDMIs) are widely associated with video and audio streaming, especially in the household. HDMI is a smart choice when it comes to transmitting uncompressed media, but it often requires more power and bandwidth than MIPI DSI. As MIPI DSI uses a compressed video stream, it reduces power consumption and transmission bandwidth. This is a significant advantage for applications like mobile devices or other portable instruments, given the importance of battery life and data transfer.
- MIPI DSI vs. RGB: Red, Green, Blue (RGB) interfaces were once popular in older handheld devices such as PDAs and gaming devices. Each pixel in the display was made up of these colors that lit up at different intensities to create visuals. The downside of these screens is that they only support lower resolutions, use up a lot of power, have higher electromagnetic interference, and complicate device design – things which are all mitigated in MIPI DSIs.
- MIPI DSI vs. LVDS: LVDS (low-voltage differential signaling) screens are commonly seen in laptops and cellphones, as it is considered a high-speed communication protocol just like MIPI DSI. But while LVDS displays use the Flat Panel Display Link protocol, MIPI displays use the MIPI DSI protocol. This comes with the benefit of volume cost savings and that you’re selecting a screen specifically designed for use in a compact application as we are so used to today.
Factors to Consider when Choosing Your LCD
So, you’re in the market for a new LCD for a specific need. There are plenty of considerations to keep an eye out for before making your final choice, including:
- Resolution: Resolution involves the clarity of the images and video on the display and how sharp they might be. This factor typically correlates with power demand, so be sure to find a balance.
- Size: How big or small the display is will dictate how the user interacts with the device. While larger displays might be more easy to view, the device itself will have to expand and use up more power.
- Power consumption: Will the screen be used in a battery-operated device or one that’s consistently plugged in?
- Cost: While you might want the best performance available, the price of the screen should align with the intended use of the device.
- Interface compatibility: The LCD should be compatible with the device’s CPU and operating system.
- Operating conditions: Will the LCD be operating in outdoor applications, unstable environmental conditions, or indoors? Depending on the environment, you might need screens that can function in high-brightness scenarios, for example.
- Touchscreen capability: Touchscreen is often the standard – with our smartphones, smartwatches, video game devices, self-checkout, and even building elevators – so considering whether the LCD offers this function is important.
Our digital experience will continue to be defined by speed, definition, and power efficiency, which means that the LCD you choose will determine the experience you offer. In the realm of display technology, there’s no doubt that the MIPI DSI has proved why it’s the best choice for almost every SOM (system on module) on the market. Its ability to streamline design and connectivity, enhance visual dynamics, and extend battery life are all a testament to its future-proof nature in this tech space.