Tektronix Releases MIPI C-PHYSM TX Test Solution

BEAVERTON, OR – Tektronix, Inc. announces the industry’s first commercially available oscilloscope-based solution for MIPI® C-PHYSM physical layer transmitter characterization and debugging. The new solution allows engineers developing next-generation camera technologies using the C-PHY 1.0 interface to conduct in-depth analyses, debugging and characterization of their designs.

Published in September 2014, the MIPI C-PHY standard presents a number of significant test and measurement challenges. The most significant is the use of three-level signaling that is transmitted as a single-ended signal over three wires. The receiver, however, sees these signals as differential. This requires a unique clock recovery mechanism to plot the eye diagram for analysis, which must work even under stressed eye conditions. Tektronix C-PHY Essentials, a new analysis and debugging software solution for C-PHY testing, fully supports the demanding C-PHY test requirements.

“With an up to 17.1 Gb/s data rate over a nine-wire interface, C-PHY provides the performance needed for high megapixel count image sensors along with low power consumption,” said Brian Reich, general manager, Performance Oscilloscopes, Tektronix. “Our solution for C-PHY transmitter testing allows engineers to detect issues early on in the product development phase and confidently assures transmitter devices’ performance and interoperability.”

Among the early implementers of C-PHY is OmniVision Technologies Inc., a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions. OmniVision’s new OV23850 and OV21840, both being 20+ megapixel image sensors designed for the next generation of flagship smartphones, have implemented the C-PHY interface under the current specification. Using the C-PHY Essentials analysis software, OmniVision and Tektronix were able to successfully validate and characterize the C-PHY interface used on the two new sensors.

“OmniVision is excited to have Tektronix’s oscilloscope-based C-PHY Essentials software for validating the next generation MIPI interface. With its three-wire signaling, C-PHY represents a significant design and test challenge,” said Paul Gallagher, senior director of marketing and business development at OmniVision. “With the help of Tektronix C-PHY Essentials, we were able to easily set up cameras utilizing the OV23850 and OV21840 sensors and confirm the C-PHY interface’s compliance with the MIPI specification.”

Receiver Characterization

While the C-PHY Essential software is designed for TX characterization, it can also be used by designers for receiver calibration. For receiver calibration, a user needs the ability to make various rise and fall time measurements and calibrate to a stressed eye with different impairments such as DCD as recommended by the C-PHY compliance test specification. As such, C-PHY TX analysis software can assist designers with receiver calibration through use of the eye diagram analysis function.

Working with solution partner The Moving Pixel Company, the Tektronix C-PHY solution includes a four-lane C-PHY traffic generator, single-lane oscilloscope based C-PHY protocol decoder and C-PHY termination board. The traffic generator can be also used for functional validation of the receiver. The protocol decoder is the industry’s first C-PHY decoder that runs on an oscilloscope. The Moving Pixel Company also offers a four-lane termination board that supports C-PHY and D-PHY, the industry’s first with support for both of these PHYs on the same board.

Pricing & Availability

The Tektronix C-PHY solution is available now worldwide. For more information and pricing information, contact your local Tektronix representative. Detailed information on the full range of Tektronix MIPI PHY and protocol test solutions is available at: http://www.tek.com/technology/mipi  

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