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Analog Devices is introducing automotive-grade products to provide true bidirectional isolation for the lower-cost I2C serial bus.

Based on the company’s Icoupler digital isolation technology, the ADuM1250W hot-swappable, dual I2C digital isolator is said to reduce board space by as much as 80 per cent and reduces the system cost associated with isolating I2C buses.

This is accomplished by eliminating optocouplers and support circuitry previously required in isolated I2C interfaces.

The ADuM1250W I2C digital isolator carries an AEC-Q100-qualified -40C to +125C automotive temperature rating and is based on the ADuM125x family of I2C isolators.

The I2C bus is a cost-effective, two-wire interface between controllers and peripheral devices such as data converters, memory products, switches, sensors and power-supply ICs.

The bus uses bidirectional lines to transmit and receive signals over the same wire, allowing two-wire signalling of clock and data.

This reduces complexity and cost by eliminating extra wiring and components.

In a variety of HEV and automotive applications, controllers or peripherals are isolated from the bus to avoid interference or harmful voltage levels.

Typically, isolation has been achieved with optocouplers, but doing to increases the cost and complexity of the I2C interface because unidirectional optocouplers must be accommodated by separating each of the two bidirectional I2C channels into two unidirectional channels.

The resultant four unidirectional channels are then each isolated with an optocoupler and recombined into two bidirectional channels.

The additional circuitry associated with the bidirectional/unidirectional conversions and the isolation of the four unidirectional channels adds complexity and cost that can offset the intended benefits of the I2C bus.

With the ADuM1250W isolator, this complexity and cost is avoided as a single component directly provides bidirectional isolation to both of the I2C lines.

This small, complete isolation device ensures the signal integrity of the bidirectional I2C bus while reducing component count, cost, board space and complexity.

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