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Mipi opens access to sensor interface specification

Broader access enables more design innovations for smartphones, wearables, IoT devices, augmented reality / virtual reality and automotive systems, says Mipi

The Mipi Alliance, an international organization that develops interface specifications for mobile and mobile-influenced industries, today announced it is opening access to its sensor interface specification, Mipi I3C.

Starting today, all companies, including those not currently members of Mipi Alliance, may access the Mipi I3C v1.0 specification so they may evaluate the incorporation of the specification into their sensor integration plans and design applications.

Joel Huloux, chairman of Mipi Alliance, says: “MIPI I3C provides a welcome update to the I2C technology that has been widely adopted over the past 35 years. 

“Extending access provides an opportunity to spur innovation and help other industries beyond mobile.


“It helps MIPI members as well, because it supports greater adoption and interoperability, strengthens the ecosystem and provides for a richer development environment.”

To support companies that are considering using Mipi I3C in their designs, Mipi Alliance also recently published an extensive set of frequently asked questions about the specification.

The FAQs, developed by the Mipi Alliance Sensor Working Group, provide a technical introduction to Mipi I3C along with guidelines for implementation and interoperability testing.

Mipi I3C, initially released to the Mipi Alliance member community in January 2017, streamlines and advances interface technologies that have been previously used in the sensor industry, such as I2C and SPI.

The unified approach makes it easier to cost-effectively integrate multiple sensors from various vendors in a device to meet the increasing demand for sensor-enriched smartphones, wearables, Internet of Things devices, AR/VR products and automotive systems.

Mipi Alliance is also broadening the Mipi I3C ecosystem with new specifications that implement Mipi I3C that will be released in 2018.

These specifications include:

  • Mipi I3C Host Controller Interface, a forthcoming specification that enables a single software driver to support Mipi I3C hardware from various vendors;
  • Mipi Touch;
  • Mipi Debug for I3C;
  • Mipi DisCo for I3C; and
  • Mipi CSI-2 v2.1.

Ken Foust, chair of the Mipi Alliance Sensor Working Group, says: “Since its introduction, Mipi I3C has become a springboard for development activities within Mipi Alliance, extending the use cases and further enhancing its value to the developer community.

“We want to collaborate with developers in industry and academia on potential Mipi I3C applications and believe access to the specification will be a great help in these efforts.”

Organizations that view the specification are encouraged to join Mipi Alliance to realize all of the benefits that membership provides.

Membership includes access to relevant patents and licenses, and opportunities to participate in specification development activities, interoperability workshops and other events.

The next Mipi I3C interoperability workshop will be held during the Mipi member meeting in Vancouver, BC, from March 12-16, 2018.

Previous events include one recently held in fall 2017 in Bangalore, India, in conjunction with the Asia member meeting and the co-located Mipi DevCon Bangalore.