An application-agnostic transport layer for chip-to-chip/interprocessor communication (IPC) applications in traditional or modular device architectures

Quick Facts

Adopted by

JEDEC UFS

Used in

Smartphones
Tablets
Mobile computing products
Automotive infotainment systems
Automotive telematic hubs

Physical Layer

MIPI M-PHY

Fundamental features

High performance
Low power
Low EMI

Use Cases

Flash storage
Networking components
Modular designs
Automotive systems

Industries

Icon of a Smart PhoneIcon of a TabletIcon of a laptopIcon of an AutomobileIcon of a cloud with the letters IoT inside.Icon of a camera

Overview

MIPI UniPro® is an application-agnostic transport layer that is used to interconnect chipsets and peripheral components in traditional or modular architectures. Because of its versatility, UniPro has been adopted for traditional and innovative applications in varied industries. For example, UniPro has been incorporated into multiple versions of the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association’s Universal Flash Storage (UFS) standard as its transport and link layers, along with MIPI M-PHY® serving as its physical layer.

MIPI UniPro is developed by the MIPI UniPro Working Group and was first released in 2007. The current version, v2.0, was adopted in 2022 and adds key features to double the data rate of the previous UniPro v1.8 specification, while offering greater throughput and reduced latency particularly required by today’s most demanding flash storage applications.

MIPI UniPro functions as a processing pipeline for data units. It is implemented on as few as four wires and structured as a protocol stack, similar to layers 1-4 in an Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model. The interface is easy to deploy and flexible for use in traditional and modular device architectures. It can be used as a standalone interface for chip-to-chip/IPC communications and as a building block for multimedia interfaces. Devices that use MIPI UniPro include smartphones, tablets and mobile computing products, as well as infotainment platforms and telematics hubs in automotive systems.

UniPro provides quality of service (QoS) features, such as dynamic link updates and link training, to ensure components interconnected with the technology operate as intended at higher speeds. The QoS features are important for ensuring the reliability of data transmissions in systems that are subject to highly variable and potentially extreme temperature conditions, such as automobiles. The QoS features can also be used in any application to monitor and address performance issues associated with aging interconnects to help extend the lifespan of deployed systems.

New Features in v2.0

MIPI UniPro v2.0 introduces additional capabilities for high-speed serial line communication and support for simultaneous, high-bandwidth transactions:

  • UniPro v2.0 uses M-PHY v5.0's “High Speed Gear 5” (HS-G5) to increase bandwidth to 23.32 Gigabits per second (Gbps) per lane and per direction to satisfy the ecosystem’s growing data rate requirements.
  • UniPro v2.0 boosted the specification’s L2 layer packet payload length from 272 to 1144, decreasing protocol overhead, increasing link speed and resulting in improved throughput for storage applications.
  • Latency in completing a link (or “stack boot”) in storage applications was decreased by up to about 8 milliseconds in v2.0.

JEDEC’s forthcoming UFS 4.0 standard will take advantage of these enhancements, as well as those in M-PHY v5.0.

UniPro v2.0 also simplifies integration for application designers by removing features such as lower speeds that largely have fallen out of use among the flash storage industry. With the elimination of those features, UniPro v2.0 is compatible with the previous version, 1.8. The specification’s conformance test suite (CTS) is also being updated to account for the new features in v2.0.

Note: The UniPro specification is available to MIPI Alliance members only. For information about joining the MIPI Alliance, visit Join MIPI.