I'm on a project that involves TFT displays and Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. I noticed that there are several acronyms, protocols confusing information.

As I understand it, there are protocols:

  • DBI: Parallel communication. It can have multiple bandwidths, such as 24-bit RGB or 16-bit RGB.

  • MIPI DSI: Serial communication. It can be 4 lanes or 2 lanes.

  • LVDS is quite straight forward, and is just parallel data serialized.

  • MIPI is more complex and involves data clocks and 3 differential communication pairs.

What I didn't understand: Are MIPI and DSI equivalent things?

Is DBI (or RGB) a type of MIPI?

DBI, DPI and MIPI seem to be related to each other. LVDS is something totally different.

Am I right in my analyses?

Thank you very much

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ MIPI is a communications protocol whereas LVDS is an electrical signalling standard. \$\endgroup\$
    – TonyM
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 20:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ titanwolf.org/Network/Articles/… \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 22:01

1 Answer 1


MIPI (mobile industry processor interface) is an industry alliance that creates and maintains various standards for the semiconductor industry.

DSI (display serial interface) is a display interface developed and maintained by MIPI. The interface is composed of a clock lane and anywhere between 1-4 data lanes. Each lane is a 2-wire interface to support LVDS modes for High-speed data transfer (2.5Gbps/lane with versions 1.3 and greater of DSI).

LVDS is an IO signalling architecture - low voltage differential signalling - developed by National Semiconductor and standardized by TIA-644.

Confusingly you'll see LVDS also mentioned in conjunction with display interfaces because it has (and still is) used by various display interfaces such as MIPI DSI, Flat Panel Display Link, (open)LDI (LVDS Display Interface) and even HDMI. But there isn't any stand alone "LVDS" display interface standard.

DBI (display bus interface) is an older display interface (maintained by MIPI) that pre-dates DSI.


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