PIC Tutorial - I2C EEPROM Board


This is the I2C (or IIC) Board, it stands for 'Inter I/C Communications' and is a standard two wire bidirectional bus used for communicating between chips in most modern electronic equipment - for instance in a modern TV receiver almost everything is controlled via I2C, and all the settings are usually stored in a small 8 pin EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Read Only Memory). This project uses a standard EEPROM, and can be various types, which will all drop in the socket.  The two signals to the chip are called SDA (Serial DatA) and SCL (Serial CLock), and are open-collector outputs (like the infamous RA4), but we can easily simulate that in software - and in any case, we don't need to do so for the SCL signal for a 'single master system', which is what we will be using. As we are only using a 'single master' system, resistor R1 isn't really needed, but I've included it as a matter of form.

I haven't labelled the EEPROM chip, as it can be a number of different ones, basically the 24C02 (256 bytes), 24C04 (512 bytes), 24C08 (1024 bytes) or 24C16 (2048 bytes), these all use 'standard addressing', you can also use a 24C32 (4096 bytes) or 24LC64  (8192 bytes) which use 'extended addressing' to access the greater memory. On the smaller chips memory is in 256 byte 'pages', with standard addressing only allowing 8 pages. The page addressing is also related to the address lines A0, A1 & A2, the 24C02 uses all three lines, so you can have eight connected to the bus with the addresses set differently, the 24C04 only uses two address lines, allowing 4 chips to be connected. The 24C16 uses none of the address lines, it already has all eight pages internally, so only one 24C16 can be connected to the same I2C bus. So 'standard addressing' only allows 2048 bytes to be addressed, in eight 256 byte 'pages'. The 'extended addressing' mode on the larger chips uses two eight bit address registers (giving a possible 65,536 bytes per chip), plus the same three bit page/address allocation, so you can have up to eight of these larger chips on the same bus. A 24LC256 is also available, which gives 32,768 bytes of space, and you can also address 8 of these on the same I2C bus, giving 262,144 bytes of memory storage which would make a very useful data-logger (over 72 hours at one sample per second!).

ChipType Address  
1 0 1 0 x x x R/W

Each I2C chip type has it's own individual 4 bit chip address, for EEPROM memory chips it's '1010', this is combined with a 3 bit address from the address input pins to give a 7 bit unique chip address - this is then made into an 8 bit word by the addition of a R/W bit, '1' for read' and '0' for write, and this is the complete value written as the 'Slave Address' for the chip. Each chip on the bus must have a unique address or problems are going to occur.

Although it's labelled as connecting to PortB, as with most of the boards, it can also be connected to PortA if required.

This is the top view of the I2C EEPROM Board, it has 7 wire links.
The bottom of the I2C EEPROM Board, there are 7 track cuts, please note that there are only 3 between the I/C pins, one isn't cut as it's used to ground the WP pin.

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