One of the most important requirements for industrial customers is long term availability. This is why it is more than surprising that MIPI displays are offered for industrial purpose. Read here why MIPI is not the preferred solution for industrial TFTs.
What is a MIPI display?
A so called MIPI TFT display is a display with a MIPI-DSI interface which is specified by the MIPI Alliance. The members of this alliance develop interfaces exclusively for the mobile communications industry. The main objectives of the MIPI-DSI interface are: high performance, low power consumption and low electromagnetic interference while reducing pin count and maintaining compatibility across different vendors. Every smartphone display is based on this interface.
A further benefit of these displays is that they are only produced in mass production and therefore the prices are very low. But that also means that all MIPI-Displays which are available on the market are currently produced for smartphone application only. On this fast consumer market every year new smartphones with new displays are developed and because of the high quantities (e.g. Samsung Galaxy S7: >55mil. pcs.) the tooling costs doesn’t matter.
That means that the product lifecycle is very short and the long-term availability doesn’t exist. Nobody will care about an additional customer with an annual demand of 10k pieces. And that is why a product change notification in due time doesn’t exists either.
Another big challenge is the MIPI-DSI protocol. Besides a data protocol for the image data there is a SPI interface for configuration. Every display has a different command set. That’s why it is not possible to switch the display. If the customer wants to use a different display, the programming has to start from zero. As nobody cares about small customers ( less than 1mill. pieces/year) in the MIPI world, documentation and application nodes for the programming are hard to get.>
What is the Solution?
- The use of standard technologies (TFT-LCD) with standard sizes and standard resolutions
- The application of well documented interfaces, standard for 15 years: digital RGB (TTL)
- Standardized pinout of the FPC connector e.g. the family-TFT interface of LCD-Mikroelektronik
We look forward to providing you with more information on long-term availability. We would be pleased to prepare an individual offer for you.