Is SN65LVDS315 (MIPI CSI-1) compatible with our i.MX6 MIPI CSI-2 interface? CSI-2 extends CSI-1 with multiple lanes, but both standards use the same D-PHY layer.
No, the i.MX6 MIPI CSI-2 interface is not compatible with CSI-1 devices.
Standards that require backward compatibility to legacy standards always state that the standards are backward compatible. The CSI-2 standard does not say that. (I have a copy of the standard and I have read it specfically for that reason) The CSI-2 standard does say that a specifically designed PHY, built to D-PHY MIPI01 specification is used for CSI-2. The PHY's used for CSI-1 and CSI-2 are different and they are not compatible. There are some processors that do have compatiblity for CSI-1 and CSI-2, but if you read closer, you will find that they have two different modes (and probably two different sets of pins): One for CSI-2 and One for CSI-2/CSI-1 legacy. It is interesting that a company would choose to inlcude a dying technology in a newer processor, but my guess is that they have a number of other CSI-1 devices they are trying to sell before they can't be used anywhere and nobody wants them.
if the customer is looking for a parallel camera interface to CSI-2 converter IC, may I recommend the Toshiba TC358746 device. I have not used it specifically, but I have worked with a Toshiba rep on an HDMI to MIPI CSI-2 project that input into the i.MX6 processor. Once all the correct parameters were determined, it worked very well. Much higher data rate flow.