I²CDriver: the Open Source Tool for Controlling I²C Devices

By on December 3, 2018
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I²CDriver is an easy-to-use, open-source tool for controlling I²C devices. It works with Windows, Mac, and Linux and has a built-in color screen that shows a live “dashboard” of all the I²C activity. The 61 x 49mm board is equipped with a Silicon Labs EFM8 controller and an FTDI USB serial chip to connect devices to a PC via a micro-USB connection, so no special drivers need to be installed. The board includes a separate 3.3-V supply with voltage and current monitoring.

While other I²C tools might offer a couple of LEDs, I²CDriver has a clear logic-analyzer display of the signal lines plus a graphical decoding of the I²C traffic.
In addition, it continuously displays an address map of all attached I²C devices, so as you connect a device, it lights up on the map.

Excamera Labs has surpassed its Crowd Supply goals for three versions of the I²CDriver, all scheduled for shipment on Feb. 5, 2019. The $29 I²CDriver Core model is limited to 3x sets of hookup jumpers. The $61 I2CDriver Expert adds support for 16x I2C modules and 3x module carrier boards. The $79 I²CDriver Gold advances to 20x I²C modules and 4x carriers and gives you a custom USB serial ID.

Features

  • Open hardware: the design, firmware and all tools are under BSD license
  • Live display: shows you exactly what it’s doing all the time
  • Fast transfer: sustained I²C transfers at 400 and 100 kHz
  • USB power monitoring: USB line voltage monitor to detect supply problems, to 0.01 V
  • Target power monitoring: target device high-side current measurement, to 5 mA
  • I²C pullups: programmable I²C pullup resistors, with automatic tuning
  • Three I²C ports: three identical I²C ports, each with power and I²C signals
  • Jumpers: color coded jumpers included in each pledge level
  • 3.3 output: output levels are 3.3 V, all are 5 V tolerant
  • Supports all I²C features: 7- and 10-bit I²C addressing, clock stretching, bus arbitration
  • Sturdy componentry: uses an FTDI USB serial adapter, and Silicon Labs automotive-grade EFM8 controller
  • Usage reporting: reports uptime, temperature, and running CRC of all traffic
  • Flexible control: GUI, command-line, C/C++, and Python 2/3 host software provided for Windows, Mac, and Linux

Specifications

  • Maximum power out current: up to 470 mA
  • Device current: up to 25 mA
  • Dimensions: 61 mm x 49 mm x 6 mm
  • Computer interface: USB 2.0, micro USB connector

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