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MHL — Connecting More Than One Billion Mobile Devices

MHL — Connecting More Than One Billion Mobile Devices

Learn About This New Mobile to Display Technology

This is the fourth post in a four-part series called "Emerging Technologies That Will Shape the Next 5 Years."

Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) is an HD video and digital audio interface for connecting mobile phones and portable devices to HDTVs and other display devices. The MHL standard was created by the MHL consortium, an industry group comprised of Nokia Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Silicon Image Inc., Sony Corporation and Toshiba Corporation. The standard was released in June of 2010 with products first reaching the market in May of 2011. MHL currently has more than 200 adopters and the MHL ecosystem has grown to an installed base of more than 260 million products.1

MHL is, essentially, a technology that adapts a micro USB connection on a mobile device to an HDMI jack. An HDMI cable is then used to connect the dongle to a display. It is most emphatically not an HDMI signal, however. MHL is a 5-pin or 11-pin topology that requires an MHL-enabled display device to function. Since the HDMI connection is ubiquitous, it is only logical that it was chosen as a convenient physical layer connection. Many new flat panel displays and Android smartphones are including MHL technology. Today, MHL capability is included in more than 330 million devices.2

In August 2013, the MHL Consortium released the MHL 3.0 specification. The new standard supports Ultra HD (D4K) resolution, deep color, up to eight channels of digital audio, and support of peripherals including mass storage, keyboard, mouse and touch screen devices.3 Many industry analysts project that MHL technology will continue to grow at nearly unprecedented rates, reaching an installed base of more than 1.5 billion products worldwide over the next 5 years. MHL is positioned to be a global solution for connecting mobile devices to fixed A/V assets.

-By Joseph Cornwall

Read about all four emerging technologies in this series here.

References
1. "MHL CONSORTIUM REACHES 200 ADOPTER MILESTONE"
2. "Do I Have MHL?"
3. "MHL 3.0 Spec Brings 4K Video Support To USB Ports On Smartphones And Tablets"