I²C

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I²C (Inter-Integrated Circuit) (pronounced /ˈaɪ skwɛərd ˈsiː/ or /ˈaɪ tuː ˈsiː/) (generically referred to as "two-wire interface") is a multi-master serial single-ended computer bus invented by Philips that is used to attach low-speed peripherals to a motherboard, embedded system, or cellphone. Since the mid 1990s several competitors (e.g. Siemens AG (later Infineon Technologies AG), NEC, Texas Instruments, STMicroelectronics (formerly SGS-Thomson), Motorola (later Freescale), Intersil, etc.) brought I²C products on the market, which are fully compatible with the NXP (formerly Philips' semiconductor division) I²C-system. As of October 10, 2006, no licensing fees are required to implement the I²C protocol. However, fees are still required to obtain I²C slave addresses allocated by NXP.[1]

SMBus, defined by Intel in 1995, is a subset of I²C that defines stricter electrical and protocol conventions. One purpose of SMBus is to promote robustness and interoperability. Accordingly, modern I²C systems incorporate policies and rules from SMBus, sometimes supporting both I²C and SMBus with minimal re-configuration required.

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