Inter-IC, abbreviated as I²C or I2C, stands for Inter-Integrated Circuit. It is a serial communication protocol invented by Philips, primarily used for efficient communication between microcontrollers and peripheral devices, such as sensors or display drivers. This low-speed, two-wire bus system is widely utilized in electronics due to its simplicity and efficiency in connecting multiple devices with just two lines: the clock line (SCL) and the data line (SDA).


The phonetics of the keyword “Inter-IC” can be represented as: /ˈɪntər ˌaɪˈsiː/.

Key Takeaways

  1. Inter-IC, also known as I²C or I2C, is a short-distance, bidirectional communication protocol designed for communication between integrated circuits on a single printed circuit board.
  2. The I²C communication protocol only requires two wires, the Serial Data line (SDA) and the Serial Clock line (SCL), which allows for easy implementation and lower system complexity.
  3. Inter-IC supports multiple master and slave devices on the same bus, enabling a flexible and efficient communication system between various ICs, such as microcontrollers, sensors, and other peripheral devices.


The technology term Inter-IC (also known as I²C or I2C) is important due to its widespread use and significant influence in simplifying and enhancing communication between integrated circuits within electronic devices.

As a low-speed, two-wire, and serial data bus protocol, Inter-IC enables efficient communication without utilizing excessive pins or wires, reducing the complexity of the design and allowing for easier implementation.

Its versatility, scalability, and ease of configuration make I2C a preferred choice for connecting microcontrollers to a wide variety of peripheral devices, such as sensors, displays, and EEPROMs, across multiple industries.

Consequently, Inter-IC has established itself as a key component in modern electronic systems, contributing to the continuous advancement, miniaturization, and performance improvements of devices in our everyday lives.


Inter-IC, commonly abbreviated as I²C or I2C, is a communication protocol that serves as a crucial component in the technology world, primarily aimed at facilitating connections and communication between various integrated circuits (ICs) on a single device. Its purpose is to simplify the complex web of electronic connections and provide a more efficient and reliable way for multiple components to work in harmony. This system enables data transfer and synchronization among various parts and devices using only two wires, making it the go-to choice for applications required to handle multiple peripherals like microprocessors, sensors, and display controllers in embedded systems and other electronics.

The foundation of I2C lies in its ability to minimize the need for numerous wiring connections, offering a more compact and organized setup for electronic devices. I2C’s popularity and widespread usage can be attributed to its flexibility, simplicity, and adaptability – allowing for seamless integration of new components and easy modification of existing setups. It is commonly used in a variety of industries ranging from consumer electronics (smartphones, tablets, and wearables) to automotive control systems and industrial applications.

Specifically, I2C is designed to address situations where multiple ICs need to communicate with each other but are otherwise unable to due to limitations such as communication protocol disparities or distance constraints. By serving as a universal bus system that connects these components, I²C offers an elegant solution to overcome these limitations while keeping the design layout and wiring simple. Therefore, Inter-IC is an indispensable element of modern technology that allows it to fulfill its purpose of making interconnected systems more efficient and reliable.

Examples of Inter-IC

Inter-IC (I²C or I2C) is a short-distance serial communication protocol often used for communication between microcontrollers and various peripheral devices, such as sensors, displays, or memories. Here are three real-world examples of I2C technology usage:

Smart Homes: In smart home automation systems, I2C technology is widely used to facilitate communication among multiple microcontrollers and peripheral devices, such as temperature sensors, humidity sensors, displays, or light control modules. The I2C protocol simplifies the system wiring and enables efficient data transmission between devices, making the management of smart homes more accessible and efficient.

Consumer Electronics: In many consumer electronics, such as smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices, I2C technology is a vital component for communication between various on-board components and sensors. For instance, I2C is used to communicate with accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers, or touchpad controllers to enhance the device’s user experience through motion control, orientation detection, or touch inputs.

Automotive Industry: In modern vehicles, there are numerous sensors and control units that are essential for engine management, safety features, and comfort features. I2C technology is often used for communication between these devices, such as airbag control units, engine control modules, or climate control systems. The I2C protocol allows efficient and reliable communication between multiple devices, ensuring the proper function of various systems within the vehicle.

Inter-IC FAQ

1. What is Inter-IC?

Inter-IC, also known as I2C or IIC, is a short-distance, low-speed communication protocol used for connecting various integrated circuits (ICs) to easily transmit information. It enables communication between a master device and multiple slave devices while only using two wires, reducing complexity and wiring requirements in electronic systems.

2. What are the main components of the Inter-IC protocol?

The main components of the Inter-IC (I2C) protocol are the Serial Clock (SCL) and the Serial Data (SDA) lines. The SCL line is responsible for synchronizing the communication process, while the SDA line carries the actual data being transferred between devices.

3. What are the advantages of using the Inter-IC (I2C) protocol?

Some advantages of using the Inter-IC (I2C) protocol include its simplicity, low cost, flexibility, and ease of implementation. With only two wires needed for communication, it significantly reduces the wiring complexity in electronic systems. Additionally, it has a built-in addressing scheme, supports multiple devices, and is well-suited for low-speed communication and low-power applications.

4. How does the Inter-IC (I2C) communication work between devices?

Inter-IC (I2C) communication works in a master-slave configuration, where the master device initiates and controls data transfers. The master sends a start signal, followed by the address of the target slave device along with a read or write command. The targeted slave device either sends or receives data based on the command given by the master. Once the data transfer is complete, the master device sends a stop signal to end the communication.

5. What are some common applications of Inter-IC (I2C)?

Inter-IC (I2C) is commonly used in various applications, including embedded systems and consumer electronics. It is ideal for connecting low-speed peripherals such as microcontrollers, EEPROMs, temperature sensors, or LED controllers to central processing units. Common devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops often use I2C for communication between internal components.

Related Technology Terms

  • I2C (Inter-Integrated Circuit)
  • Serial Communication
  • Master-Slave Configuration
  • Bus Arbitration
  • Synchronous Data Transfer

Sources for More Information

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms