Turning cars into mobile devices

April 25, 2017 // By Ashraf Takla, Thomas Wilson and Christian Tuschen
Everyone remembers their first car – how you could go where you wanted to go, moving faster and going longer distances – you were mobile. Yes, our cars made us mobile, but today’s cars are becoming mobile devices themselves.

More than a means of transportation, cars are evolving into complete mobile devices – connecting and connected to the internet, transportation grids, and to each other. MIPI specifications are playing an important role in this transformation just as they have played the key role in unifying the interfaces in the most common mobile device of all – the smartphone.

The MIPI Alliance was founded with the goal of making it easier and more economical to interface systems in devices like mobile phones. The organization defines interface specifications that standardize the interfaces of cameras, displays, and wireless modules, between high-speed processors, low-speed sensors, and other chip-to-chip data transfers.

Mobile devices are typically small, with components interfaced in a compact, closely coupled way deep inside the device. The transformation of the car to a connected device is occurring from the inside out as well – a perfect setting for leveraging the work done within the MIPI Alliance.

The system interface of a smartphone supplier mirror those developing to serve the auto industry. The ability of vendors to create power and performance-efficient interfaces (using MIPI specifications) provide companies in the auto supply chain the same advantages offered to the mobile phone makers and their suppliers. Automotive systems are being connected both wired and wirelessly.

This connectivity is becoming the “central nervous system” of the car. MIPI specifications are providing the connectivity between a growing number of mission-critical, informational, and entertainment systems transforming your car into a mobile device. Let’s look at this transformation and how the MIPI Alliance and its member companies are helping to make it happen.

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