Alliance Eyes Interface for Mobile Chips

By Carmen Nobel  |  Posted 2003-08-04

A group of major wireless industry companies last week announced an initiative to standardize the interface to cell phone application processors.

The MIPI (Mobile Industry Processor Interface) alliance is an evolution of OMAPI (Open Mobile Application Processor Interface), a similar initiative that Texas Instruments Inc. and STMicroelectronics NV formed in December.

The problem with OMAPI, MIPI officials said, was that it required companies to sign legal documents with both companies to join. MIPI is set up as a separate nonprofit organization, so logistics are less of a problem.

Other founding members include semiconductor design company ARM Holdings plc. and cell phone company Nokia Corp.

MIPI officials said the industry needs a separate initiative for a processor interface. MIPIs working groups cover subjects such as system power management, camera and display, memory interface, and high-speed multilink.

MIPI Version 1.0 will be published by the end of the year, and new members will be announced sooner than that, officials said.

In the meantime, Dallas-based TI is facing a lawsuit from another industry company.

Qualcomm Corp., of San Diego, last week sued TI, alleging breach of a patent portfolio agreement that Qualcomm and TI signed in December 2000. Qualcomm alleges that TI disclosed information about the agreement and seeks termination of TIs rights to the Qualcomm patents.

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