Oscilloscope option debugs MIPI M-PHY interface standard

Mobile communications and consumer devices require ever-faster interfaces to transmit and process the increasing volumes of multimedia data. A triggering and decoding option for the RTO2000 oscilloscope now supports developers during start-up and debugging of devices and components containing M-PHY interfaces.

The RTO-K44 option from Rohde & Schwarz offers triggering and decoding functionality for debugging designs with MIPI M-PHY-based protocols. Defined as a physical layer, M-PHY serves as the basis for a number of protocol standards that have been optimised for rapid data transmission in mobile devices. For example, M-PHY is used with CSI-3 in cameras and with UFS in memory components for multimedia applications. With DigRF Rev.4, UniPort or LLI, the interface is used in chip-to-chip communications.

Manufacturers of compatible processors and communications ICs as well as memory components for mobile phones, tablets and cameras can use the option to design, verify and debug products. IC designs for smartphones, for example, often exhibit problems due to the close proximity of fast digital interfaces and sensitive functional blocks, such as radio modules. The option helps designers find the sources of errors related to M-PHY-based interfaces.

It also provides access to protocol results in the lowest M-PHY physical layer and additionally supports the higher protocol layers of the UniPro standard, which was also defined by the MIPI Alliance. This gives users flexibility in selecting an appropriate decoding level for targeted debugging.

Targeted acquisition of protocol data is possible thanks to the variety of available protocol-based trigger events such as start of frame, data bursts, line control commands or various protocol data units. This data can then be analysed in detail. The decoded protocol elements are displayed with colour coding in a trace diagram or in a table.

M-PHY defines a variety of data rates (gears) in both low-speed and high-speed transmission mode. The RTO2000 oscilloscopes offer a bandwidth of up to 4GHz, meaning that debugging is possible for M-PHY implementations up to high-speed gear 2 (HS G2). In low-speed mode, both PWM and NRZ modulation can be used. The option decodes both formats and supports multi-lane applications.

The triggering and decoding option for MIPI M-PHY is available now, extending the company’s offering of triggering and decoding options for MIPI RFFE and MIPI D-PHY, as well as a compliance test solution for MIPI D-PHY.


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