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Low-pin count interface facilitates mobile device-HDTV hook-up

Posted: 10 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Silicon Image? HDMI? HDTV?

Silicon Image Inc. has revealed at this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) its Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) technology, which enables mobile phones, digital cameras, media players and other mobile devices to link directly to HDTVs. The MHL, a low-pin-count link for low-power mobile devices, is compatible with HDMI.

With a MHL connection, users will be able to connect their mobile device via a docking station or dongle, which bridges the MHL interface with standard HDMI so users can watch and listen to their digital content on a large screen in high definition. Small mobile devices have size and power-consumption limitations and typically have a single small connector with too few pins to support standard 19-pin HDMI connectors. With MHL, the pin count is reduced from 19 to five, while handling all the formats that are required by HDMI.

The MHL link requires four pins for A/V Transition Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS) packets and a single pin for a control bus, which supports content protection authentication, A/V format discovery and Consumer Electronics Control (CEC).

To equip a mobile phone or other device with MHL, the manufacturer adds a MHL transmitter chip to the mobile device. A bridge chip also needs to be added to a docking station or dongle that performs the conversion into a standard HDMI signal. The docking station or dongle will have a standard HDMI connector on the other end, allowing the docking station to be plugged directly into HDTVs.

Silicon Image chips supporting MHL will begin sampling to customers in February and are scheduled for production in the third quarter.

- Gina Roos

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