I2C and SMBus Bus Buffers and Accelerators

I2C bus buffers, multiplexers, accelerators and isolators address a wide variety of issues that commonly arise when many nodes are added to a bus. A bus buffer is commonly used in high availability (Hot Swap) environments to provide level translation or level shifting capabilities for 1V, 1.2V, 1.5V, 1.8V, 2.5V, 3.3V and 5V buses, and break down bus capacitances into smaller compliant pieces. Similarly, Linear Technology’s stand alone or built-in rise time accelerators help speed up signal rise times to help devices meet I2C requirements. Aside from increasing fan-in or fan-out, our software-programmable and pin-selectable I2C multiplexers help resolve I2C address limitations while integrating bus buffers and rise time accelerators for an all-in-one solution.

Only Linear Technology I2C bus buffers and multiplexers with stuck bus protection provide automatic recovery from an I2C bus stuck low. If SDAOUT or SCLOUT is low for 30ms, these devices break the bus connection and automatically generate clock pulses in an attempt to unstick the bus, thereby providing a more reliable system with minimum user intervention. Features such as low offset, high ESD and level translation down to 1V are common within our bus buffer family. In addition, hot swap circuitry allows users to place our bus buffers on the edge of an I/O card, then insert or remove that card from a live backplane without disturbing communications.  All of our I2C devices address other digital serial 2-wire buses as well, including SMBus, PMBus, the AdvancedTCA (ATCA) Intelligent Management Platform Management Bus (IPMB), and the HDMI Display Data Channel (DDC) bus.

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