In recent years, cell phone technology has evolved from voice phones, to feature phones, to smart phones, and now to super phones. These latest cell phones are powerful devices that handle a lot more than simple voice communication. They act as multimedia players, set-top boxes, game consoles, cameras, and even PCs. All of this functionality is packed into a small device that fits into the palm of your hand.
However, this small form factor brings with it two major problems: 1) the screen size of a device that fits into the palm of your hand can never be satisfactory for high-end digital entertainment applications; and 2) the battery technology that powers these mobile phones has not kept up with the functional demands.
Mobile high-definition link (MHL) is a new interface protocol that addresses both of these challenges. MHL provides wired high-definition audio/video connectivity between a mobile device (typically a cell phone or tablet) and a digital home display device (digital TV). In addition, MHL technology incorporates the capability to charge mobile devices while they are connected to a display device.
MHL is gaining popularity because it leverages the ubiquitous connection ports found in almost every household. MHL does not attempt to define a specific or unique connector, but it instead maps into already-popular connectors. For example, the most popular connector on cell phones is USB 2.0, and on DTVs it is HDMI. The MHL protocol works seamlessly with USB 2.0 and HDMI protocols and connectors. A typical MHL cable has a MicroUSB connector on one side and an HMDI connector on the other.