ESA title
Enabling & Support


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ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Engineering & Technology / Onboard Computer and Data Handling

I2C is a communication standard currently under study for utilisation on-board spacecraft and in health monitoring solutions.

Here are some of the features of the I2C-bus:

  • Only two bus lines are required; a serial data line (SDA) and a serial clock line (SCL)
  • Each device connected to the bus is software addressable by a unique address and simple master/ slave relationships exist at all times; masters can operate as master-transmitters or as master-receivers
  • It’s a true multi-master bus including collision detection and arbitration to prevent data corruption if two or more masters simultaneously initiate data transfer
  • Serial, 8-bit oriented, bidirectional data transfers can be made at up to 100 kbit/s in the standard mode or up to 400 kbit/s in the fast mode
  • On-chip filtering rejects spikes on the bus data line to preserve data integrity
  • The number of ICs that can be connected to the same bus is limited only by a maximum bus capacitance of 400 pF.