A-PHY is a physical-layer serialiser-deserialiser (SerDes) standard for ultra-high-speed, long-range connectivity and is designed specifically for automotive applications. The MIPI Alliance published the A-PHY specifications in September 2020 to establish a unified industry standard for easy and secure integration of cameras, sensors and displays into vehicles. Valens will be the first company to launch A-PHY compliant chipsets and recently announced the successful tape-out of the VA70XX chipset family.
Sony sees significant benefits in using the A-PHY standard, especially for its customers - such as providers of camera-based ADAS systems, according to Kenji Onishi, general manager automotive business department. "Valens is leading the way with A-PHY, so this collaboration is very important to us," Onishi said. "We believe that future models will have even higher resolution. In addition, our company is preparing to integrate more features into next-generation sensors, including metadata output, higher frame rate and greater bit depth - all of which require an ultra-fast, long-range link like MIPI A-PHY." However, the Japanese company intends to continue supporting not only A-PHY, but also D-PHY, proprietary interfaces and open standard interfaces.
The integration of A-PHY into system components such as image sensors and SoCs eliminates the need for proprietary bridging solutions to extend CSI-2 and DSI-2 data streams, simplifying vehicle architecture and reducing overall system costs. A-PHY offers data rates of up to 16 Gbps with a roadmap to 48 Gbps and beyond, plus an unprecedented low packet error rate (PER) of 10 to the power of -19 and high electromagnetic noise immunity.