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Date: 14-10-14

MIPI SoundWire interface transports audio and control data

MIPI Alliance, a standards organization developing high-speed bus interface for on-chip and off-chip communication in mobile phones has introduced a new audio specific interface called MIPI SoundWire for connecting amplifiers, microphones and audio codecs used in smartphones, tablets, mobile PCs and other devices.

MIPI SoundWire is a comprehensive interface and scalable architecture that can be used to transport audio and control data for audio peripherals. More than 25 companies have involved in developing MIPI SoundWire.

“We are very pleased that so many companies participated in this effort. Thanks to the broad-based involvement in the process, we are able to bring MIPI SoundWire to the market as a groundbreaking and very mature specification that meets the industry’s immediate, evolving and diverse needs,” said Joel Huloux, chairman of the board of MIPI Alliance. “The process also spurred many companies to join the MIPI Alliance. We appreciate their interest in MIPI SoundWire, their membership and their active engagement in the working group.”

The ratification of MIPI SoundWire by the MIPI Alliance is expected to be completed by year-end 2014. Semiconductor Ics, IPs and other design material supporting MIPI SoundWire is expected by the end of 2014.

"MIPI SoundWire is a hardware interface and transport protocol. It offers a scalable, low complexity, low power, low latency, 2-pin (clock and data) multidrop bus that allows for the transfer of multiple audio streams and embedded controls/commands. Companies can apply the specification to add intelligence to audio peripherals, increase the number of peripherals attached to a link and optimize their implementations without compromising product cost, pin count, power consumption, software complexity, or key audio metrics" stated in the release by MIPI. MIPI SoundWire features built-in synchronization capabilities and optional multilane extensions and it supports PCM and PDM, multichannel data, isochronous and asynchronous modes.

MIPI SoundWire supports advanced amplifiers and microphones. It can be used to optimize speaker protection, microphone power and performance, noise cancellation, and always-listening audio input. The new standard helps in new use cases, and can converge different types of devices.

“The boundaries between mobile phones, tablets and PCs are converging but until now, standardized audio interfaces have been specific to the individual market segments,” said Mohamad El-Hage, vice chair of the MIPI Alliance Low Speed Multipoint Link Working Group. “The fragmentation has made it very challenging for firms to scale their product designs for use across segments. MIPI SoundWire was developed to provide a common interface to overcome this challenge.”

El-Hage emphasized that MIPI SoundWire was defined by designers for the benefit of designers. “It was a pleasure to collaborate with so many talented and dedicated people to design what we hope to be a great interface,” he said. “Thanks to the recommendations of engineers involved in hardware and software product integration, the MIPI SoundWire specification embeds built-in self-test and debug capabilities.”

For more information about MIPI SoundWire, please visit http://bit.ly/soundwire.

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