Connecting MIPI DSI to Cell Phone LCD


We are currently designing a new consumer product that will use a cell phone touch screen for the user control interface. The LCD we have chosen uses MIPI DSI for the connection.

We had intended to drive it with a Raspberry Pi but have since learned that Broadcom makes it impossible for the Pi GPU to drive any screen using DSI other than the Pi branded screens (overpriced / poor quality).

Because of this, we have abandoned Raspberry Pi as an option and are currently evaluating SOM options that could drive the LCD. Before we get too far down a new path we want to make sure that what we are trying to do is possible and that we don’t run into any other walls.

I would really appreciate any insight you might have in regards to driving a lcd cell phone screen using a SOM, through DSI.

Thanks in Advance,



96Boards don’t currently make any SoMs. However a lot of vendors reuse the Dragonboard 410C Debian images with their Snapdragon 410E based SoMs meaning you can Drabonboard 410C for prototyping, testing etc.


In truth, 96Boards don’t really make anything, it is standard that vendors adopt. However the 96Boards vendors don’t make SoMs because there is not a 96Boards SoM spec at present.


I also was under the assumption Rpi can’t drive custom DSI panels, but in fact it is very possible, esp. using the Pi SOM (CM). I haven’t done this yet, but bumped into yesterday:

That said, I’m happy I also thought I wouldn’t be possible because it led me to 96boards and we’re rocking full screen GPU shader based next gen mobile GUIs at 60fps now on the HiKey 960 with AOSP on custom DSI panels.

Snapdragons (Dragonboards) have a better documented DSI panel porting guide and a more flexible DSI implementation than HiKey. And they have actual SOM options in production with 410/820 SoCs.

Haven’t gotten to touch yet, we don’t need it in our product.