Lattice and Mediatek Announce superMHL Smartphone Reference Designs Supporting 4K over USB-C

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Two standards are competing to bring 4K video output @ 60 Hz and 8K over USB type C connectors: DisplayPort 1.4 and superMHL. Lattice, who purchased Silicon Image last year, and Mediatek have collaborated to provide reference designs supporting superMHL and based on Helio X20 deca-core processor combined with Lattice components.

superMHL_smartphoneLattice SiI8348 MHL transmitter would handle 4K 60 fps video and MHL power, while Sil7033 USB type-C port controller would also handle USB 3.1 data transfer up to 10 Gbps, USB-C power delivery (PD), MHL Alt-mode on USB-C. Lattice also leverage their SiI7013 mobile USB Typer-C port controller, SiI9396 mobile superMHL/MHL to HDMI bridge, and other chips to offer accessories such as USB-C to HDMI adapters, MHL cables, USB-C charger, and USB-C dock with multiple USB ports and HDMI output.

superMHL_AccessoriesAnandtech notes that one the main problem with USB type C connector is likely to be the cable, as many of them are not fully compliant and some even dangerous, and for now most people use USB type C cable for USB 2.0 data and charging, but once USB 3.1 and video use case become more common, many consumers are likely to encounter even more issues, and their cables may not work. I assume the safe option is to always use the cable provided by the manufacturer of the device.

It’s unclear at this stage, when product based on the reference designs may come to market, and whether any OEMs have started development based on the designs.

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