7/30/2003 - The Mobile Industry Processor Interface (MIPI) Alliance, a new industry initiative that will define and promote open standards for interfaces to mobile application processors, was announced by founding members ARM, [(LSE:ARM) (Nasdaq:ARMHY)], Nokia (NYSE: NOK), STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) and Texas Instruments Incorporated [(NYSE:TXN) (TI)]. The MIPI Alliance is a response to the broad interest in the OMAPI (SM) standard launched by ST and TI in December 2002.
OMAPI was formed by TI and ST to standardize interfaces for mobile application processors. The response to this initiative was very strong and indicated the need for a more representative formal industry organization. As a result, the new MIPI Alliance has been established as an incorporated not-for-profit entity that will include a wide range of member companies with the common goal of defining and promoting open, standard specifications for application processor interfaces. By establishing consistency in application processor interfaces, the alliance expects to ease implementation and design of hardware and software, promoting reuse and compatibility in mobile devices to accelerate time-to-market.
"Mobile device users and wireless carriers are demanding a rapidly changing set of features and functions," said Allen Leibovitch, IDC's Wireless Semiconductor Research Manager. "Standards like the MIPI Alliance can allow mobile device manufacturers and their semiconductor and software providers to more easily combine their best components and features and bring compelling products to market in a shorter time."
The MIPI Alliance is intended to complement existing standards bodies such as the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) and 3GPP. While these organizations focus on services and air interfaces, respectively, the MIPI Alliance is focused on microprocessors, peripherals and software interfaces.
The MIPI Alliance is actively recruiting member companies such as handset manufacturers, semiconductor companies, hardware peripheral manufacturers, operating system (OS) vendors, middleware vendors and software application developers to help define and promote the adoption of the new standard.
As part of the MIPI Alliance, 10 working groups will be established to develop specifications in key areas such as camera and display interface, software abstraction, communications interface and system control.
The MIPI Alliance is structured to provide multiple levels of membership, in which benefits are proportional to contributions. Basic levels of membership enable use of specifications, while other levels of membership enable participation in working groups to define specifications. The MIPI Alliance expects to announce new members in the third quarter of 2003. More information including membership details on the MIPI Alliance is on www.mipi.org.
Quotes from Founding Members
"The MIPI Alliance goals of developing standards for application processor interfaces will allow the faster adoption of smart phones, reducing the barriers that exist today with propriety interfaces," said Mike Inglis, executive vice president of marketing at ARM. "ARM intends to upgrade its PrimeXsys platform to be compliant with the MIPI standards allowing semiconductor partners to quickly develop MIPI compliant application processors."
"We see the MIPI Alliance as an excellent forum to speed up development and time to market for mobile multimedia devices by defining open standards for application interfaces," said Jari Pasanen, Vice President, Nokia Mobile Phones. "This means that Nokia, and other hardware manufacturers, can deploy interoperable building blocks faster and at a lower cost."
"We believe that the MIPI Alliance will drive growth in mobile multimedia by creating an open standard for application processor interfaces," said Guy Lauvergeon, Group VP and General Manager of STMicroelectronics' Multimedia Platform Unit. "These open hardware and software interfaces will reduce the development time of end products based on future MIPI compliant application processors like ST's Nomadik family, enable widespread software reuse and foster proliferation of standard components."
"In order to facilitate the success of the mobile services market, industry leaders must work together to establish open standards and specifications," said Alain Mutricy, TI Vice President and WW OMAP General Manager. "TI will make its OMAPTM application processors compliant with the MIPI standard and work with the other members of the MIPI Alliance to bring mobile services to market more quickly while growing the market for the entire mobile industry value chain."
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