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What is the difference between MIPI CSI-2 and CSI-3?

2018-12-27 15:38:13 9749


Camera Serial Interface

The Camera Serial Interface (CSI) is a specification of the Mobile Industry Processor Interface (MIPI) Alliance. It defines an interface between a camera and a host processor. The latest active interface specification is CSI-3 which was released in 2012.



Different Standards of MIPI CSI Interface:

MIPI CSI-1 was the original standard MIPI interface for cameras. It emerged as an architecture to define the interface between a camera and a host processor. Its successors were MIPI CSI-2 and MIPI CSI-3, two standards that are still evolving.


MIPI CSI-2 v1.0 specification was released in 2005. It uses either D-PHY or C-PHY (Both standards are set by the MIPI Alliance) as a physical layer option. The protocol is divided into the following layers:

1. Physical Layer (C-PHY/D-PHY)

2. Lane Merger Layer.

3. Low Level Protocol Layer.

4. Pixel to Byte Conversion Layer

5. Application Layer


MIPI CSI-3 is a high-speed, bidirectional protocol primarily intended for image and video transmission between cameras and hosts within a multi-layered, peer-to-peer, UniPro-based M-PHY device network. It was originally released in 2012 and got re-released in version 1.1 in 2014.



What is the difference between MIPI CSI-2 and CSI-3?




Figure-1 and figure-2 depicts MIPI CSI-2 variants D-PHY, C-PHY and Combo PHY. Following are the features of MIPI CSI-2 V1.3 : 

• PHY variants supported: D-PHY 1.2, C-PHY 1.0 or "Combo PHY" 

• Number of Virtual Channels: Four (4)

• Control Interface: I2C

• Line based transmission (Easy implementation, low gate count, matched data rates for sensor and link) 



• Interrupt type: In-Band

• Supports RGB, RAW, YUV, JPEG 

• Embedded Data 

• CRC/ECC for payload & Header Protection 






Figure-3 depicts MIPI CSI-3 interface. Following are the features of MIPI CSI-3 V1.1 : 

• M-PHY 3.0 

• Virtual Channels: 32

• In-Band Control

• Packet Based Transmission 

• In-Band Interrupts 

• Supports RGB, RAW, YUV, JPEG

• Embedded Data

• Notification channels for metadata, audio etc. 

• CCI bridging

• Guaranteed delivery of data


You can continue to learn more about MIPI CSI interfaces at the below links: 

Key words: #MIPI #CSI #CameraSerialInterface #Camera #CameraModule 

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