Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

The full form of I2C is an inter-integrated circuit or IC. I2C protocol is an 8-bit serial communication device that takes the assistance of bus wires. These bus wires are serial data wires (SDA) and clock wires (SCL). I2C communication protocol sends and receives data bit by bit. I2C is a combination of different types of I2C. It helps devices to send data directly to the devices. Everyone may have heard of I2C or used it before, but nobody knows what it is. So, in this guide, you will learn all about the I2C communication protocol, how it works, its benefits, and its uses. So, let’s get started.

What Is I2C Protocol?

Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C) is a serial communication protocol. It uses a multi-master slave architecture. I2C was designed in 1980 by Philips. It is used in motherboards, I2C protocol in embedded systems, and peripheral systems. I2C is widely used for communication between microcontrollers and sensors. I2C connects two lines, SCL and SDA. These data lines are used to connect to pull-up resistors. I2C supports multiple slaves that can be attached to one I2C controller.

How I2C Works?

I2C helps us transfer messages. It is similar to other protocols, but messages are broken into frames like other protocols. These messages are uniquely assigned frames used to find the binary address of the enslaved person. I2C was followed by more data frames containing the content being transmitted. These Messages have ACK/NACK bits and start and stop conditions.

Here How I2C works:

  • Start Condition:In the start condition, the SDA line switches from high to low before the beginning of the communication.
  • Address Frame:The Address Frame is a 7 or 10-bit sequence. It helps us identify the bus used to send messages.
  • Read/write Bit:A single bit sends data to the enslaved person by bringing the line high.
  • ACK/NACK Bit:It follows each frame in a message. If an address frame or data frame is successfully received, the receiving device returns an ACK bit to the sender.
  • Stop Condition:In the n-stop condition, the SDA line switches from low to high before the beginning of the communication.

Advantages Of I2C Communication Protocol

  • I2C Protocol helps a lot in supporting the multi-master communication
  • I2C is beneficial when it uses only two wires
  • In I2C Protocol, ACK/NACK functions can be proved helpful for error handling
  • In I2C Protocol, the addressing is very simple and does not need any CS lines
  • I2C is used to control the flow in the master-slave device

Disadvantages Of I2C Protocol

  • It is a half-duplex mode of communication
  • The hardware complexity increases the number of agent devices in the circuit

Key Components And Functionality

  • I2C Transmission And Data FrameWhen devices communicate using the I2C bus, they send information in chunks called frames. Each frame starts with a unique address so that the appropriate device picks it up, after which the actual data is sent. This way, data gets to where it needs to go in a neat and orderly manner.
  • I2C Protocol AnalyzerTo make it easier to find and fix any problems with how devices communicate on this bus, there are tools called I2C protocol analyzers. These tools help developers see data moving back and forth, making it easier to find and fix problems.
  • I2C BusThe I2C bus is like a communication bridge that allows different devices to talk to each other. It has two main wires: one for sending data (SDA) and the other for holding data sending time (SCL).

Where And How I2C Communication Protocol Is Used?

I2C uses only two lines for sending and receiving messages between parts on the same circuit board or gadget. This method is only for sending messages one line at a time. It is the preferred choice because it allows many different parts to talk to each other using a simple setup where one part (master) controls the others (slaves). The cool thing about I2C is that you can connect thousands of slave parts to communicate, which makes it extremely flexible for building complex gadgets.

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FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. What Is I2C?

I2C stands for Inter-Integrated Circuit and is a way for devices to talk to each other using a simple, short-distance connection.

Q2. How Does I2C Work?

In I2C communication, there is a master controller (called master) that initiates communication and manages the flow of data. Other devices (called slaves) respond to requests from the master.

Q3. What Are The Important Parts Of I2C?

I2C communication has two main lines: SDA (Serial Data Line) where the actual data is sent and SCL (Serial Clock Line) which maintains the timing of the data being sent.


The I2C protocol is the main communication method used in electronics for a long time. It is simple and allows you to connect many devices using only two wires, which is why it is so popular for various projects. However, it is not always the best choice for every situation. When setting up a system, it’s important to think about what the system needs to do. Then, choose the communication method that best fits those needs. This ensures that the system works smoothly and efficiently.

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