A family of specifications in development led by the MIPI Display Working Group

Overview

With the proliferation of touch-capable displays and the market’s demand for increasingly innovative touch features in mobile devices, MIPI Alliance has initiated the development of the MIPI TouchSM architecture that will contain related specifications. This work is being led by the MIPI Display Working Group. The new specification is intended to optimize the integration and performance of touch technologies in mobile phones, tablets, automotive dashboards and infotainment displays, and other devices and applications.

MIPI Touch will make it easier to integrate touch features into current designs, and help overcome time-to-market and integration challenges in mobile devices that offer both display and touch features.

The new specification will also leverage current and future MIPI specifications under development, including a standard command set and MIPI I3CSM, the sensor and host control interface specifications that include backward compatibility with I2C-bus devices. 

Scope and Use Cases

With a goal of maximizing commonality across multiple interface data types (stylus, touch and haptics) without compromising display-interface objectives, the new specification will focus on use cases that meet four primary requirements. Under the project's scope, these use cases must:

  • Feature a display as the primary user interface
  • Be contained in an embedded system, such as a mobile device or automotive console
  • Support single-finger, stylus and multi-finger touch

The highest priority areas are smartphones and tablets with touch, followed by PC laptop screens, and automotive displays and all-in-one touchscreen monitors. Other possible uses include devices such as LCD remote controls that use a display for their user interface.

It should be noted that it is not a goal of the initiative to develop any new physical transport layers. Rather, many existing physical layers already meet the anticipated bandwidth and latency requirements for a robust, high-performance touch interface.

Requirements

The family of specifications is intended to meet the following top-level requirements:

  • Data transmission from the touch device to the processor that contains processed, pre-processed touch controller data or raw touch sensor data.
  • Touch device initialization configuration, calibration and self-testing information.
  • Signal and process touch device interrupts by either the touch host controller or higher application layers.
  • Service for a hardware abstraction layer to provide the touch information in an OS-agnostic manner.
  • Feedback device support, particularly for haptic feedback.

Industry Contributions Welcomed

MIPI Alliance encourages manufacturers and software providers to contribute to the MIPI Touch architecture, scheduled for completion in 2017. MIPI Alliance member companies and other organizations interested in sharing perspectives can join the MIPI Display Working Group, which is developing the MIPI Touch architecture and specifications, and the MIPI Software Working Group, which is investigating the architecture of a supporting software framework.