Both I2C and UART are similar in that their purpose is to transfer data serial data at low data rates between devices, and both use a two-wire interface to achieve this. Both are also commonly used for short/medium distanced data transmission. I2C, however, uses a master/slave configuration that uses clock signals to help synchronize the data being read or transmitted by the devices. UART, on the other hand, is hardware that is responsible for implementing asynchronous serial data streams for point to point connection and includes no clock signal.

While both I2C and UART offer similar objectives in data transmission, there are reasons why one might be best over the other. I2C is flexible and useful for connecting multiple devices. It allows users to integrate multiple master and slave devices – up to 128 devices on a single bus. I2C also has flow control and performs data validation, so the integrity of the data and how it was transferred is reliable. I2C is also generally faster than UART, and can reach speed of up to 3.4 MHz .Some of the disadvantages of I2C include its increasing circuit complexity with additional master/slave setups, and is only able to operate in half-duplex, meaning data can only be transmitted in one direction at a time.

UART is often used for its simplicity in hardware implementations. It doesn’t require a clock signal, and is ideal for systems that need to send data between devices without waiting for a master poll request and generating unwanted traffic on the bus. Some drawbacks are that UART doesn’t offer multiple master/slave support, which can limit how many devices are used on the bus.

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