MIPI® UniPort-M Selected by Google for Modular Smartphone ‘Project Ara’

UniPort-M ideal for mobile communications that require high speed, low power, scalable and flexible solutions

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — April 15, 2014 — The MIPI® Alliance, an international organization that develops interface specifications for mobile and mobile-influenced industries, is proud to announce that Google, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) has chosen the MIPI UniPort-M protocol for its smartphone Project Ara Module Developers Kit (MDK).

MIPI UniProSM (Unified Protocol) transport layer, combined with MIPI M-PHY®, creates the MIPI UniPort-M interface, which has the ability to connect any application specific protocol. MIPI UniPort-M was designed as a universal, chip-to-chip, interprocess communication that is ideal for mobile communications that require high speed, low power, scalable and flexible solutions. MIPI UniPort-M provides versatility that simplifies the interconnection of peripherals and reduces time-to-market and design costs. Target devices for UniPro/UniPort-M include smartphones, tablets, digital cameras and multimedia devices.

“Google’s selection of MIPI UniPort-M only reinforces the intent and vision for which it was originally developed. Project Ara needed a high speed, flexible and low power solution to address the modular nature of the smartphone,” said Joel Huloux, chairman of the board, MIPI Alliance. “MIPI M-PHY was created to offer significant power savings, making it perfect for Google’s Project Ara.”

“We selected the UniPro/M-PHY protocol stack for the Project Ara platform due to our need for real-time adaptability, scalability, and performance. We're excited to work with the MIPI Alliance to support and advance the UniPro and M-PHY protocol standards, and with the industry to encourage and facilitate widespread adoption across a broad range of mobile components and peripherals,” said Paul Eremenko, head of Project Ara, Google.

MIPI UniPro is used in a wide range of components including application processors, co-processors and peripheral devices, allowing usage of different application layers. MIPI UniPro specification supports different types of data traffic including control messages, bulk data transfer and packetized streaming. Additionally, the re-useable, extensible nature of the specification simplifies new feature implementation in future, high-speed applications.

“Google's Project Ara represents fresh and innovative approach to creating a modular and highly customizable mobile device. However, issues related to cost and time to market and interoperability can hinder the introduction of products before they have the opportunity to prove themselves in the market. Thus, the selection of MIPI's UniPro protocol can help smooth the go-to-market process while also providing a technically efficient standard that will help create a powerful user experience,” said William Stofega, program director, mobile device technology and Trends at IDC.

Jürgen Urban, Chair of the MIPI UniPro Working Group, is presenting at Google’s Project Ara Module Developers Conference April 15, 2014 at 2:45 p.m. PDT. This is the first of three Developer Conferences planned for 2014. The Conference, occurring today and tomorrow, is focused on the alpha release of the Ara Module Developers Kit (MDK), which utilizes MIPI UniPort-M protocol.

The Developers Conference is being held in-person at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., and live-streamed online.

For information regarding Project Ara’s Developers Conference agenda visit:


For more information about the MIPI Alliance and its specifications, please visit www.mipi.org.

Laudatory quotes from MIPI Alliance members:

Agilent Technologies

“Being able to reliably test standards that connect modular systems - like Google's Project Ara - is essential,” said Roland Scherzinger, MIPI Program Manager, Agilent Technologies. “The MIPI UniPort-M protocol provides built-in test support features that address these requirements.”

Arasan Chip Systems Inc

“MIPI UniPro is a very versatile and flexible standard. Therefore, it is used not only within MIPI, but also by UFS 2.0; a JEDEC standard,” said Zachi Friedman, senior director of marketing, Arasan Chip Systems Inc. “The new networking support being added to UniPro will enhance future mobile architectures, such as Project Ara.”


“The inclusion of MIPI Unipro and M-PHY in Project Ara is further proof of the protocols’ ability to deliver the best chip-to-chip interprocess communications for mobile applications,” said Mao Liu, director of product marketing, IP Group at Cadence. “With a proven integrated design and verification IP solution for MIPI Unipro and M-PHY, Cadence enables customers to quickly implement this high-speed, low-power connection while reducing their time to market.”

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