1 Rev June 2007 Application note Document information Info Keywords Abstract Content I2C-bus, level shifting Logic level shifting may be required when interfacing legacy devices with newer devices that use a smaller geometry process. For bidirectional bus systems like the I 2 C-bus, such a level shifter must also be bidirectional, without the need of a direction control signal. The simplest way to solve this problem is by connecting a discrete MOS-FET to each bus line.
2 Revision history Rev Date Description Application note; initial version. Contact information For additional information, please visit: For sales office addresses, please send an to: _1 Application note Rev June of 7
3 1. Introduction Present technology processes for integrated circuits with clearances of 0.5 µm and less limit the maximum supply voltage and consequently the logic levels for the digital I/O signals. To interface these lower voltage circuits with existing 5 V devices, a level shifter is needed. For bidirectional bus systems like the I 2 C-bus, such a level shifter must also be bidirectional, without the need of a direction control signal. The simplest way to solve this problem is by connecting a discrete MOS-FET to each bus line. 2. Bidirectional level shifter for Fast-mode and Standard-mode I 2 C-bus systems In spite of its surprising simplicity, such a solution not only fulfils the requirement of bidirectional level shifting without a direction control signal, it also: isolates a powered-down bus section from the rest of the bus system protects the lower voltage side against high voltage spikes from the higher-voltage side. The bidirectional level shifter can be used for both Standard-mode (up to100 kbit/s) or in Fast-mode (up to 400 kbit/s) I 2 C-bus systems. It is not intended for Hs-mode systems, which may have a bridge with a level shifting possibility. 2.1 Connecting devices with different logic levels Different voltage devices could be connected to the same bus by using pull-up resistors to the supply voltage line. Although this is the simplest solution, the lower voltage devices must be 5 V tolerant, which can make them more expensive to manufacture. By using a bidirectional level shifter, however, it is possible to interconnect two sections of an I 2 C-bus system, with each section having a different supply voltage and different logic levels. Such a configuration is shown in Figure 1. The left low-voltage section has pull-up resistors and devices connected to a 3.3 V supply voltage; the right high-voltage section has pull-up resistors and devices connected to a 5 V supply voltage. The devices of each section have I/Os with supply voltage related logic input levels and an open-drain output configuration. The level shifter for each bus line is identical and consists of one discrete N-channel enhancement MOS-FET; TR1 for the serial data line SDA and TR2 for the serial clock line SCL. The gates (g) have to be connected to the lowest supply voltage V DD1, the sources (s) to the bus lines of the lower-voltage section, and the drains (d) to the bus lines of the higher-voltage section. Many MOS-FETs have the substrate internally connected with its source, if this is not the case, an external connection should be made. Each MOS-FET has an integral diode (n-p junction) between the drain and substrate. _1 Application note Rev June of 7
4 V DD1 = 3.3 V V DD2 = 5 V R p R p g TR1 R p R p SDA 1 s d SDA 2 g TR2 SCL 1 s d SCL V DEVICE 3.3 V DEVICE 5 V DEVICE 5 V DEVICE mgk879 Fig 1. Bidirectional level shifter circuit connecting two different voltage sections in an I 2 C-bus system Operation of the level shifter The following three states should be considered during the operation of the level shifter: 1. No device is pulling down the bus line. The bus line of the lower-voltage section is pulled up by its pull-up resistors R p to 3.3 V. The gate and the source of the MOS-FET are both at 3.3 V, so its V GS is below the threshold voltage and the MOS-FET is not conducting. This allows the bus line at the higher-voltage section to be pulled up by its pull-up resistor R p to 5 V. So the bus lines of both sections are HIGH, but at a different voltage level. 2. A 3.3 V device pulls down the bus line to a LOW level. The source of the MOS-FET also becomes LOW, while the gate stays at 3.3 V. V GS rises above the threshold and the MOS-FET starts to conduct. The bus line of the higher-voltage section is then also pulled down to a LOW level by the 3.3 V device via the conducting MOS-FET. So the bus lines of both sections go LOW to the same voltage level. 3. A 5 V device pulls down the bus line to a LOW level. The drain-substrate diode of the MOS-FET the lower-voltage section is pulled down until V GS passes the threshold and the MOS-FET starts to conduct. The bus line of the lower-voltage section is then further pulled down to a LOW level by the 5 V device via the conducting MOS-FET. So the bus lines of both sections go LOW to the same voltage level. The three states show that the logic levels are transferred in both directions of the bus system, independent of the driving section. State 1 performs the level shift function. States 2 and 3 perform a wired-and function between the bus lines of both sections as required by the I 2 C-bus specification. Supply voltages other than 3.3 V for V DD1 and 5 V for V DD2 can also be applied, e.g., 2 V for V DD1 and 10 V for V DD2 is feasible. In normal operation V DD2 must be equal to or higher than V DD1 (V DD2 is allowed to fall below V DD1 during switching power on/off). _1 Application note Rev June of 7
5 3. Abbreviations Table 1. Acronym I 2 C-bus I/O FET MOS Abbreviations Description Inter-Integrated Circuit bus Input/Output Field-Effect Transistor Metal-Oxide Semiconductor _1 Application note Rev June of 7
6 4. Legal information 4.1 Definitions Draft The document is a draft version only. The content is still under internal review and subject to formal approval, which may result in modifications or additions. NXP Semiconductors does not give any representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of information included herein and shall have no liability for the consequences of use of such information. 4.2 Disclaimers General Information in this document is believed to be accurate and reliable. However, NXP Semiconductors does not give any representations or warranties, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of such information and shall have no liability for the consequences of use of such information. Right to make changes NXP Semiconductors reserves the right to make changes to information published in this document, including without limitation specifications and product descriptions, at any time and without notice. This document supersedes and replaces all information supplied prior to the publication hereof. Suitability for use NXP Semiconductors products are not designed, authorized or warranted to be suitable for use in medical, military, aircraft, space or life support equipment, nor in applications where failure or malfunction of a NXP Semiconductors product can reasonably be expected to result in personal injury, death or severe property or environmental damage. NXP Semiconductors accepts no liability for inclusion and/or use of NXP Semiconductors products in such equipment or applications and therefore such inclusion and/or use is at the customer s own risk. Applications Applications that are described herein for any of these products are for illustrative purposes only. NXP Semiconductors makes no representation or warranty that such applications will be suitable for the specified use without further testing or modification. 4.3 Trademarks Notice: All referenced brands, product names, service names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. I 2 C-bus logo is a trademark of NXP B.V. _1 Application note Rev June of 7
7 5. Contents 1 Introduction Bidirectional level shifter for Fast-mode and Standard-mode I 2 C-bus systems Connecting devices with different logic levels Operation of the level shifter Abbreviations Legal information Definitions Disclaimers Trademarks Contents Please be aware that important notices concerning this document and the product(s) described herein, have been included in section Legal information. For more information, please visit: For sales office addresses, please send an to: Date of release: 18 June 2007 Document identifier: _1
APPLICATION NOTE Bi-directional level shifter for I²C-bus and other Abstract With a single MOS-FET a bi-directional level shifter circuit can be realised to connect devices with different supply voltages
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