This document describes the i2c protocol. Or will, when it is finished :-)
Key to symbols
S (1 bit) : Start bit
P (1 bit) : Stop bit
Rd/Wr (1 bit) : Read/Write bit. Rd equals 1, Wr equals 0.
A, NA (1 bit) : Accept and reverse accept bit.
Addr (7 bits): I2C 7 bit address. Note that this can be expanded as usual to
get a 10 bit I2C address.
Comm (8 bits): Command byte, a data byte which often selects a register on
Data (8 bits): A plain data byte. Sometimes, I write DataLow, DataHigh
for 16 bit data.
Count (8 bits): A data byte containing the length of a block operation.
[..]: Data sent by I2C device, as opposed to data sent by the host adapter.
Simple send transaction
This corresponds to i2c_master_send.
S Addr Wr [A] Data [A] Data [A] ... [A] Data [A] P
Simple receive transaction
This corresponds to i2c_master_recv
S Addr Rd [A] [Data] A [Data] A ... A [Data] NA P
This corresponds to i2c_transfer
They are just like the above transactions, but instead of a stop bit P
a start bit S is sent and the transaction continues. An example of
a byte read, followed by a byte write:
S Addr Rd [A] [Data] NA S Addr Wr [A] Data [A] P
The following modifications to the I2C protocol can also be generated,
with the exception of I2C_M_NOSTART these are usually only needed to
work around device issues:
In a combined transaction, no 'S Addr Wr/Rd [A]' is generated at some
point. For example, setting I2C_M_NOSTART on the second partial message
generates something like:
S Addr Rd [A] [Data] NA Data [A] P
If you set the I2C_M_NOSTART variable for the first partial message,
we do not generate Addr, but we do generate the startbit S. This will
probably confuse all other clients on your bus, so don't try this.
This is often used to gather transmits from multiple data buffers in
system memory into something that appears as a single transfer to the
I2C device but may also be used between direction changes by some
This toggles the Rd/Wr flag. That is, if you want to do a write, but
need to emit an Rd instead of a Wr, or vice versa, you set this
flag. For example:
S Addr Rd [A] Data [A] Data [A] ... [A] Data [A] P
Normally message is interrupted immediately if there is [NA] from the
client. Setting this flag treats any [NA] as [A], and all of
message is sent.
These messages may still fail to SCL lo->hi timeout.
In a read message, master A/NA bit is skipped.