The SV3C Combo MIPI D-PHY/C-PHY Generator is an ultra-portable, high-performance instrument that enables exercising and characterizing MIPI Alliance receiver ports used for imaging, display, and other low-power and high-bandwidth applications. Receiver sensitivity testing is critical for the successful deployment of high-speed MIPI-enabled applications, and the SV3C facilitates this process with remarkable ease. Capable of generating any protocol traffic such as live video and being completely data-rate agile, this compact instrument includes precision analog parameter controls that allow users to gain deep characterization insights into receiver sensitivity performance and dynamic skew or jitter tolerance.
Innovation and Outstanding Performance
What makes the SV3C unlike any other product in the test and measurement marketplace is that the SV3C is a new hybrid tool: it provides massively parallel lane-count coverage, highly-automated and speedy test execution akin to production Automatic Test Equipment (ATE), while simultaneously offering superior analog performance that rivals conventional high-end (and high-cost) analog tools typically deployed for only single-lane characterization. All of these capabilities come in a handheld form factor, which means that engineers can deploy an entire validation bench within a compact box that travels inside any briefcase. A compact solution translates into easier deployment in an already crammed and often resource‐constrained lab. It also means that engineers can have their own “high performance” bench right at their desk without needing to go to the lab.
With its compactness, ease of setup, extreme analog performance, and fully integrated jitter and skew injection sources, the SV3C has increased the availability of world‐class equipment and ease of use for high‐speed digital product development teams across the world. To quantify this, a single SV3C instrument contains 12 independent skew and jitter injection channels that can operate in parallel and that are completely programmable through software — they do not require external hardware. By contrast, a conventional Arbitrary Waveform Generator (AWG), the typical tool used for MIPI receiver testing, only supports 1 or 2 jitter injection channels, takes up more space in the lab, and costs significantly more than the SV3C. Similarly, the SV3C automatically calibrates timings between low-power and high-speed transitions, thus requiring virtually no laboratory setup time whereas conventional tools can take almost an entire day to prepare in advance of testing. Finally, the SV3C can generate very long pattern sequences representing hundreds or thousands of video frames — a typical instrument would struggle to generate even a single video frame while simultaneously injecting jitter. The ability to generate large video sequences is critical for automotive, medical, and security applications; the SV3C achieves this easily.
Through an open-source software scripting environment, the SV3C can be used to transmit MIPI-compliant data packets with a multitude of digital formats across complete (multi-channel) communications links, inject both physical-layer and protocol-layer impairments for conformance stress testing, and interoperate with a myriad of devices. Because of this flexibility, this instrument is not only finding wide-spread usage in characterization labs, but it is also being deployed in pre-Silicon design validation activities as well as in Hardware in the Loop (HIL) simulation environments. These varied deployment models are true testimony to the flexibility of this “category-creating” tool. Simply stated, there is no single tool that is quite like the SV3C in the current marketplace.
Some video demonstrations of the SV3C can be seen at this YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdH_GRdVEPYPwQkafWLeknHYo0APGUKmB
Impact on the Market
Created to support a multi-roadmap development strategy in the mobile CPU, camera, display, and sensor landscape, the SV3C is the only tool in the industry that offers the capability to understand the global operating limits of MIPI devices and also measure their real-world analog performance. By supporting a “combo” physical layer and “combo” protocol layers, a single SV3C can be deployed to multiple device characterization programs, thus enabling users to support multiple product development roadmaps with a single instrument.
As MIPI protocols continue to rapidly evolve, obsolescence risk is a significant factor for many adopters of MIPI specifications especially when it comes to capital equipment acquisition decisions. However, with the SV3C, companies implementing MIPI interfaces can minimize risk and maximize profits on their investment in capital equipment because the SV3C is completely compatible with all MIPI standards, even ones that are still in development. For example, it supports the D-PHY physical layer, in its versions 1.1, 1.2, 2.0, and 2.1. Similarly, it supports the C-PHY physical layer, in its versions 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2. Finally, it supports the multiple CSI-2 and DSI/DSI-2 standards as well as new ones such as Vesa Display Stream Compression and MIPI Camera Command Sets. Additionally, it is capable of operating at up to 6.5 Gbps per lane (26 Gbps across 4 lanes), thus offering very high operating margin for its users. Indeed, developed in lock-step with some of the most advanced CPU, sensor, and display makers in the world, the SV3C contains features that are still not fully released by the MIPI Alliance. It is, therefore, with little surprise that the SV3C is now standard fare in any high-speed lab in which MIPI development and characterization is being performed.
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