What is MIPI RFFE Interface | difference between RFFE v1 vs RFFE v2

This page describes MIPI RFFE (RF Front End) Interface basics. It compares MIPI RFFE v1.0 vs MIPI RFFE v2.0 interfaces and mentions difference between RFFE v1.0 and RFFE v2.0 interface types.

RF Front-End Control Interface (RFFE) speacifications are maintained and published by MIPI Alliance. MIPI has published RFFE v1.0, v2.0 and v2.1 (recently) specifications. MIPI RFFE provides common framework for controlling multiple subsystems (or components) of a RF system. As we know RF system consists of PAs (power amplifiers), LNAs (low-noise amplifiers), RF filters, RF switches, power management modules, antenna tuners etc. This interface fulfills current as well as future need of the mobile wireless devices. The figure-1 depicts various interfaces used in a radio receiver viz. RFFE, DigRF and eTrak (Envelope Tracking Interface). Refer MIPI Interface >> for more information.

DigRF interface is used between baseband and RFIC portions of a mobile handset. eTrak is point to point interface used between radio transmitter and ETPS (envelope tracking power supply). RFFE interface has been developed to meet increasing front end requirements due to multiple CA (Carrier Aggregation) bands, multiple antenna configurations in latest wireless technologies such as LTE rel-11, LTE rel-12, 5G etc.

What is MIPI RFFE interface

RFFE Controlled Receiver Front End

• It uses point to multipoint architecture which uses master and slave devices.
• It is compact, cost efficient and flexible two wire control bus interface.
• As per V1.0 MIPI RFFE interface supports single master and 15 slave devices on single RFFE bus.
• It uses two signal lines viz. SCLK (Clock signal) and SDATA (Serial Data) as shown in figure-2.
• SCLK: It is controlled by master device.
• SDATA: It can be unidirectional or Bidirectional.SDATA attribute depends on slave device type (i.e. write-only or read/write) .
• VIO: It is input/output supply or reference voltage. VIO can be external or sourced from master device.

MIPI RFFE Interface

MIPI RFFE v1.0 interface

Following are the features of MIPI RFFE v1.0 interface.
• Supports up to 26 MHz bus speed.
• Supports 1.8 or 1.2 VIO
• Supports upto 16 bits address space.
• Supports 1 master and upto 15 slaves, One master eliminates arbitration for the bus
• Slave devices are very configurable which support programmable unique slave ID. They support user defined group IDs for write commands.
• It uses parity bits for error checking.
• Single byte and multi-byte read and write commands are supported.
• Supports broadcast messages over bus to multiple slave devices.
• Supports command initiated soft reset.

MIPI RFFE v2.0 interface

Following are the features of MIPI RFFE v2.0 interface.
• Supports up to 52 MHz bus speed.
• Supports multi-master for CA (Carrier Aggregation) system architectures.
• Supports upto 4 masters and upto 15 slaves
• Interrupt Capable Slave functionality is supported
• Supports new reserved registers and functions which eases hardware/software development.

Following are the benefits of RFFE interface.
• Flexible• scalable• interoperable• low RF EMI • Efficient power control and • compact design.

Reference: MIPI Alliance, Inc. ( https://www.mipi.org )

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