Functional Safety in Automotive & Digital Ecosystems

VIP Expert

Dec 17, 2022 / 4 min read

Synopsys Verification IPs

Today, the automotive industry is experiencing an advanced evolution which demands need for an ever-increasing bit-depths, frame rates, camera and display resolutions, and most significantly functional safety. To address these challenges and to support future architectures, the MIPI Alliance developed MIPI Automotive SerDes Solutions (MASS)  which is an end-to-end framework for connecting sensors, cameras, displays and many other industry standardized protocols with functional safety and security. In this blog we will review the features and nuances of MIPI CSE™ (Camera Service Extension) one of the key components in the MASS connectivity framework, and explain how Synopsys Verification IP (VIP) for MIPI solutions provide a comprehensive set of methodology, verification and productivity features to support these protocols.

Automotive sensors interface

What is MIPI CSE?

Prior to the release of MASS, the automotive industry had to depend on SerDes protocols or provide its own functional safety solutions for long-range communications between peripheral components and CPUs. Largely due to the absence of standards and supporting networking architecture, supplier options have been constrained, economies of scale have been limited, and design complexity and expense have grown.

MASS includes a suite of widely adopted protocols for higher-layer applications in billions of devices and is now starting to be leveraged in the automotive industry. The MIPI CSE protocol, part of the MASS suite, extends the features of the MIPI CSI-2® (Camera Serial Interface 2) protocol to support functional safety, allowing MASS-based applications to meet the functional safety requirements of the ISO 26262 standard.

Using MIPI CSI-2 with MIPI CSE

MIPI camera interfaces, sensors and application processors can communicate with each other to deliver advanced imaging capabilities, high-resolution images, and rich colors to automobiles, drones, smartphones, tablets, and other devices. MIPI CSI-2 is the most widely adopted protocol for high-speed camera and imaging interfaces, which can be improved with the use of MIPI CSE for automotive applications to add some extended features like functional safety and security as shown in the below picture.

MIPI CSE Architecture

                                                                          Figure 2: MIPI CSE Architecture

The MIPI CSE protocol facilitates the integration of high-performance image sensors into next-generation vehicles and IoT devices by standardizing and streamlining the process. MIPI CSE also adds new functionalities to MIPI CSI-2 for next-generation image sensor applications, such as the ones listed below.

MIPI CSI-2 for next-generation 

Using MIPI CSE for Functional Safety

Functional safety enabled by MIPI CSE, utilizes three main features for image data transmission:

  • Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC-32)
  • Frame counter
  • Message counter
Functional Safety Features of MIPI CSE

MIPI CSE includes two types of protocols to ensure the functional safety of image and control data:

  • CSE_i (Image data Transfer) – In CSE_i, SEP (Service Extension Packet) formats provide end-to-end data protection mechanisms from sensors to its associated ECUs. SEP supports E2E protection from starting point to destination regardless of the PHY device which can be A-PHY/C-PHY/DPHY.
  • CSE_c (Control Data Transfer) – In CSE_c, control channels between sensors and associated ECUs are protected end-to-end by the ESS-CCI (Enhanced Safety and Security for Camera Command Interface) protocol.

SEP packets that are created by the source and transmitted to the sink can be modified or destroyed in between, which can be detected if all the components in the system (i.e., source and sink) support MIPI CSE.


Automotive technology has advanced faster than ever before, and electronic components have never played a more central role in the design and successful operation of new automobiles than they do today. Using the MIPI Automotive SerDes Solutions, including MIPI CSI-2 with MIPI CSE, automakers will be able to integrate new and emerging safety measures such as low-latency backup cameras, sign-detection sensors, and 360-degree cameras. In addition to automotive applications, MIPI CSE’s capabilities are ideal to be used in other safety-critical applications.

Synopsys VIP for MIPI CSI-2 is natively integrated with the Synopsys Verdi® Protocol Analyzer debug solution as well as Synopsys Verdi® Performance Analyzer. Synopsys VIP can switch speed configurations dynamically at run time and includes an extensive and customizable set of frame generation and error injection capabilities.

Running system-level payload on SoCs requires a faster hardware-based pre-silicon solution. Synopsys transactors, memory models, hybrid and virtual solutions based on Synopsys IP enable various verification and validation use-cases on the industry’s fastest verification hardware, Synopsys ZeBu® emulation and Synopsys HAPS® prototyping systems.

Synopsys has consistently been a leader in supporting the latest MIPI protocols. Read our recent blog to learn more about the latest features of MIPI CSI-2 version 3.0.

To learn more about Synopsys VIP for MIPI CSI and other Synopsys VIPs please visit:

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