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I2C bus (Inter-IC bus)

Contributor(s): Fredrik L. Jung

The I2C (Inter-IC) bus is a bi-directional two-wire serial bus that provides a communication link between integrated circuits (ICs). Phillips introduced the I2C bus 20 years ago for mass-produced items such as televisions, VCRs, and audio equipment. Today, I2C is the de-facto solution for embedded applications.

There are three data transfer speeds for the I2C bus: standard, fast-mode, and high-speed mode. Standard is 100 Kbps. Fast-mode is 400 Kbps, and high-speed mode supports speeds up to 3.4 Mbps. All are backward compatible. The I2C bus supports 7-bit and 10-bit address space devices and devices that operate under different voltages.

This was last updated in September 2005

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