1-Wire-to-I2C/SPI bridge eases connection of I²C and SPI sensors

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By Ally Winning

Using Maxim’s 1-Wire protocol to interface with I2C and SPI-compatible sensors requires two wires, while competing solutions need four wires for I2C or six for SPI.

Serial interfaces are most commonly used for the connection of remote sensors in both industrial and remote monitoring applications. The protocols that have predominantly been used until today can be expensive and complex, as they often need up to five external switch extenders to be able to connect with devices up to 100 meters away. Additionally, some of these interfaces that have been widely deployed to date take 6 cables for the connection of multiple extended sensors to the host MCU.

The DS28E18 provides both power and communications over a single wire. Maxim’s 1-Wire protocol allows the connection of I2C or SPI peripheral devices over 100 meters using only two wires. This solution has the potential to eliminate up to five extender and switch ICs, which, in turn, reduces both connectivity costs and software complexity. Only a single programmable I/O port from the host MCU is required for the operation of a network with 10 to 20 nodes.

“Sensors are transforming consumer, industrial and healthcare products as they enhance data collection and make for more intelligent operation,” said Manuel Tagliavini, principal analyst, MEMS and Sensors at Omdia. “However, serial interfaces to these sensors dominate the market and any approach that can help reduce the complexity will be a boon for developers.”

“As sensors become more prevalent in a number of applications, so does the need to extend connectivity over longer distances,” said Scott Jones, managing director, Embedded Security at Maxim Integrated. “To cost effectively extend the operating distance for serial interface devices invokes a great deal of complexity but using 1-Wire protocol greatly simplifies these networks with simpler software and fewer cables and ICs.”

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