Touch Spec Advances Mobile Designs

The MIPI Alliance has released MIPI Touch, a family of publicly available specifications that work together to enable faster, more flexible design and implementation of touch applications in smartphones, tablets, laptops and more. Any organization, including companies that are not currently members of MIPI Alliance, can access MIPI Touch to evaluate its use in touch integration plans.

 

The touch market is significant, with about two billion touch panel modules expected to ship this year for a range of mobile and other device platforms, according to IHS Markit, a global business information provider. Integrating touch technologies has been time consuming and costly, however, due to the industry’s reliance on vendor-specific, proprietary touch interfaces and the incompatibility of software drivers across operating systems.

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The MIPI Touch family of specifications alleviates these challenges with a standardized “write once” approach, where developers require only a single command set to write a single device driver that can be used across operating systems for touch implementations in smartphones, tablets, PCs and automotive applications.

 

Applying the MIPI Touch family of specifications

 

MIPI Touch suits emerging designs that use the MIPI I3C sensor interface specification for touch applications. Developers expected to use MIPI Touch include application processor companies and those that design or integrate touch sensors.  The family of specifications includes four components:

  1. The MIPI Touch Command Set (MIPI TCS), a set of high-level commands that harmonize the writing of device drivers across operating systems.
  2. The MIPI Touch Adaptation Layer for I3C (MIPI ALI3C), which translates the touch commands for use on the MIPI I3C protocol.
  3. The MIPI I3C Host Controller Interface (MIPI I3C HCI), an optional specification for advanced systems that makes it possible to use touch commands and multiple data streams to add differentiating touch features to a design. Application processor companies can apply the specification to standardize the HCI method used in their devices.
  4. The MIPI I3C v1.0 specification, which connects an application processor to a touch sensor.

According to the promoters, MIPI Touch provides significant technical performance benefits. When all four specifications are used as a solution, it will yield the highest throughput and lowest latency for touch products. The specifications are versatile, offering developers design flexibilities that make touch very convenient to implement.

 

The four specifications are available for download now. Membership is not required to access the specifications, however, companies are encouraged to join MIPI Alliance to realize all of the benefits that membership provides.

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