MIPI® Alliance, an international organization that develops interface specifications for mobile and mobile-influenced industries, announced an updated version of its MIPI RF Front-End Control Interface for mobile devices: MIPI® Alliance Specification for RF Front-End Control Interface (RFFE), Version 2.0. MIPI Alliance introduced the new release in conjunction with the organization’s MIPI Open and Demo Day, held in Seattle earlier this month.
The new release, v2.0, adds numerous features that enhance control of the increasingly complex RF front-end environment in a mobile device, which can include 10 to 20 components such as power amplifiers, antenna tuners, filters and switches. The interface can be applied to the full range of RFFE components to simplify technology design, configuration and integration and to facilitate interoperability of components supplied by different vendors. The convenient interface makes it easier for manufacturers to develop scalable solutions, expediting time to market for new solutions and addressing end-user needs for faster data speeds and better call quality. It is also backward-compatible with products based on the earlier specification, MIPI RFFE v1.x.
“MIPI RFFE has enjoyed enormous success in the mobile industry and we’re very pleased to enhance and update its capabilities with v2.0,” said Joel Huloux, chairman of the board of MIPI Alliance. “The new features designed into this release will make it easier for companies to meet increasingly rigorous RFFE performance requirements. It will also help streamline the introduction of products for different markets and industries, including mobile-influenced sectors and the larger ecosystem known as the Internet of Things.”
MIPI RFFE v2.0 brings five important technical features to the popular interface. The features include
- Extended range of bus operating frequencies, effectively doubling the number of command sequences that can be transferred on the bus in a given amount of time to increase overall data speeds for end users
- Synchronous read,which allows more types of data propagation on the bus by the slave devices to increase the range of bus loading and enable the use of extended frequencies
- Multi-master configurationto support carrier aggregation system architectures and the use of multiple transceivers and dual-SIM designs
- Interrupt-capable slave functionality, which enables a quick polling method of the slave devices to the master controller on the bus, and
- New reserved registersthat improve the efficiency of hardware and software development
Expected users of the specification include RF device vendors, baseband and transceiver vendors, and mobile device OEMs.
The MIPI RFFE Working Group, which led the development of the new specification, surveyed MIPI Alliance members and members of the International Wireless Industry Consortium (IWPC) to assess the market’s RFFE interface needs and identify features to include in the new release. Companies surveyed represent the full range of RF front-end products used in mobile devices.
“In developing v2.0 we have actively listened to and responded to the needs of the user community,” said Jim Ross, chair of the MIPI RF Front-End Working Group. “We expect v2.0 will continue the success of v1.x while delivering a forward-looking specification that can be further enhanced in the coming years to address future requirements of the RFFE system.”
With v2.0 now available to companies, the working group has begun to gather ideas for further MIPI RFFE enhancements. Potential areas to be addressed include RFFE electrical and digital details, flexible bus configuration and multiple message types. The working group welcomes additional members and contributions to this effort.
To support the user community in its adoption and use of MIPI RFFE v2.0, and in conjunction with the release of the specification, MIPI Alliance has also completed two supporting documents: “Application Note for RFFE v2.0, App Note v2.0,” and “FAQ for RFFE v2.0, FAQ v2.0.” For more information about the specification, its supporting documents and the MIPI Alliance RF Front-End Working Group, please visit http://bit.ly/1CjEiwm or www.mipi.org.