Philips Rolls Out Hot Swappable I2C Bus Buffers for Bigger Systems

2/9/2004 - Expanding the use and reach of I2C technology, Philips Semiconductors announced a new family of I2C devices that will help designers build bigger I2C systems for maintenance and control applications in CompactPCI (PICMG2.9) and AdvancedTCA (PICMG3.X) architectures. These advanced architectures allow more extensive remote system management and configuration control of communication boards, power supplies and controllers to significantly increase system reliability. Philips’ PCA951x family of hot swappable I2C bus buffers (consisting of the PCA9510/11/12/13/14) can also be used in normal I2C bus or SMBus applications, allowing designers to add many more devices to a single bus than previously possible. Because I2C technology is well suited for system health maintenance and control buses, the hot swappable bus buffers family is ideal for use in all of today’s advanced computing, communication and networking architectures.

“With this new family of hot swappable I2C bus buffers, Philips is providing more innovative I2C solutions to system manufacturers,” said Pierre-Yves Lesaicherre, general manager for the Interface Products business line at Philips Semiconductors. “This new family enables greater design flexibility in building even larger systems and replacing the boards without having to power down the system. Philips continues to introduce significant innovations in I2C technology, improving the maintenance and control bus capability for our customers in the computing, communication and networking industries.”

The PCA951x devices communicate between system boards allowing insertion and removal of the boards into an active I2C system without corrupting the data on the I2C bus. The devices are designed to simplify the task of using a bus to manage a large number of boards in network server, desktop PC or telecom environments. For multiple system management buses, the devices can act as a bus buffer with different voltages on each segment.

The PCA951x family is the first in a series of hot swappable I2C bus buffers with enhanced features. Each member of the PCA951x family is similar in operation, containing specific features depending upon the application need: The PCA9511 is the most popular model, providing rise time accelerators to reduce rise time on heavily loaded buses, 1V precharge to reduce bus glitching, and idle detect that connects the new I2C devices to the active I2C bus only when the bus is idle to prevent damage to the system.

The PCA9510 removes the rise time accelerators for systems with multiple devices on a common bus or for lightly loaded systems.

The PCA9512 has two VCC supplies for better noise margin in voltage translation applications and a hardware pin to disable the rise time accelerators.

The PCA9513/14 are variants of the PCA9511 with a higher rise time accelerator turn on threshold to increase the noise margin in noisy applications, and no precharge feature since the precharge is not required in some applications. The PCA9513 also features a 100 uA current source that replaces the conventional pull-up resistors required for the I2C bus. It also evens out the I2C bus RC time constant as boards are added or removed from the system.

The PCA951x products are offered in both 8-pin SO and TSSOP (MSOP) packages and are available in quantities of 10,000. The PCA9511/13/14 are currently released to production. The PCA9510/12 are sampling and production is planned for 2Q04.

About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world’s biggest electronics companies and Europe’s largest, with sales of EUR 31.8 billion in 2002. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, and one-chip TV products. Its 166,500 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, components, semiconductors, and medical systems. Philips is quoted on the NYSE (symbol: PHG), Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other stock exchanges. News from Philips is located at

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