Difference between I2C vs I2S

What is I2C Protocol?

I2C stands for Inter IC communication. I2C is a simple two-wire protocol used to comminute between two devices or chips in an embedded system. I2C has two lines SCL and SDA, SCL is used for the clock, and SDA is used for data.


i2c vs i2s


I2C Timing Diagram


What is I2S Protocol?

Inter-IC Sound (I 2 S) bus – a serial link, is developed especially for digital audio. The bus handles only audio data through a simple, 3-line serial bus consisting of:

  • Continuous Serial Clock (SCK);
  •  Word Select (WS); and
  •  Serial Data (SD)




The timing diagram for I2S

What is the difference between I2S and I2C (I2C vs I2S )?

● I2C used to connect to for general inter IC communication ie EEPROM or sensors and I2S is used only for audio devices

● I2C supports multi-master and multi slave and I2S supports single master

● I2C is 2 wire protocol and I2S is 3 wire protocol.

● I2C supports clock stretching and I2S does not have clock stretching.

● I2C has an extra overhead start and stop bits and I2S does not have any start and stop bits.

● I2C has acknowledgment communication after every byte of the transfer

● I2C has a pullup resistor requirement.

Advantage I2C:

● Easy device add-on: It,s easy to add a new slave device to the bus. Just add the a new device without adding a new select like, unlike SPI.

Advantage I2S :

● Audio: It delivers a full audio chain and eliminating the need for any preamplifier and DAC and ADC

What are the Protocol Analysers to Debug I2C Protocol?

Prodigy offers a protocol analyzer to capture and monitor the I2C Bus .I2C protocol analyzer, has advanced capability not only to trigger but long allow very long captures which is very useful for the embedded design engineer during the debug.


I2C/SPI Exerciser and Protocol Analyzer