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ADS7828 - bizzare A0/A1 I2C addressing scheme

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Peter, Aug 27, 2003.

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  1. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Hi All,

    I wonder if anyone has come across this... The ADS7828 is a I2C
    interface converter. Like a lot of I2C devices, you send it an
    addressing byte, of which 2 bits have to match the state of two
    external inputs.

    In that way, one can have a number of such devices on the same
    data/clk bus.

    The 7828 data sheet states that the device latches the A0/A1 states at
    power-up. BUT this would make it unusable unless they were both tied
    it GND (because of the unpredictable input thresholds while VCC is
    rising) and certainly they could not be driven from any external
    logic. Unless the latching was done some tens of ms after VCC has
    risen... but the data sheet does not say that!

    I am trying hard to get an answer from TI on this but their support
    engineer doesn't appear to really know...

    Can anyone offer any light on this?

  2. Tilmann Reh

    Tilmann Reh Guest

    I think you are assumed to have these inputs tied to GND and VCC,
    according to the address you want to use.
    This also is the way I2C devices are normally told their addresses.

    Dipl.-Ing. Tilmann Reh
    Autometer GmbH Siegen - Elektronik nach Maß.

    In a world without walls and fences, who needs Windows and Gates ?
    (Sun Microsystems)
  3. Peter

    Peter Guest

    So, the device must wait for VCC to stabilise before it samples, and
    then latches, the A0/A1 inputs.

    Otherwise, this scheme could not work!

  4. It's the same VCC as for the device, probably not critical. To be honest,
    I was never aware of this power-on latching, don't know if this is common
    behaviour for all I2C devices.
  5. Dana Raymond

    Dana Raymond Guest

    The other responses are correct. Yes, it would make life easier to expand
    the I2C addressing scheme - I've run into problems like that myself.
    However, thats not how the standard works. Each device has a fixed
    addresses, established at power-up. Some manufacturers actually release
    variants of their parts with different addresses (where all the pins are

    There are parts available that allow you to split I2C busses, or multiplex
    them, etc. You could also use a latch that feeds the address pins and also
    controls the power pin on the device. I2C devices are supposed to be 'sane'
    when powered down. That is, they are not supposed to load down or interfere
    with the clock and data lines when unpowered.

    When you think about it, latching the address pins takes additional logic -
    a direct use of them may make more sense. BUT The I2C master is not supposed
    to NEED any other connectivity to the slave devices, hence the fixed
    addressing scheme.

    Need more addresses? Use those devices I mentioned, use 10-bit I2C devices,
    use a repeater with enable (only one in series!), or the method I suggested

    Hope this helps.
    Dana Frank Raymond
  6. Andrew Paule

    Andrew Paule Guest

    the only reliable way to get this thing to latch is to power it after
    the Vdd that you are using for the address is up. Run into this many
    times - don't know why so many chip makers still do it.

  7. But why would you want to set the adress bits by means of another
    device? I would think the adress would be fixed anyway, in a
    given system.
  8. Dana Raymond

    Dana Raymond Guest

    If you need to use 2 or more of the same part on the same I2C bus.

    Dana Frank Raymond
  9. Peter

    Peter Guest

    As you seem to be an I2C expert, may I ask another question...?

    It is to do with the *direction* of the clock signal.

    The ADS7828 is an I2C ADC. One sends it address and command bytes;
    there is no doubt these are clocked in by the processor.

    Then it does the conversion.

    Then the result is clocked out. It would seem obvious that the clocks
    for this should also come from the processor. However its data sheet
    is ambiguous on this part, showing timing diagrams which imply these
    clock pulses come out of the 7828. I have been waiting for 2 weeks for
    TI to come up with someone who can explain this.

    I suspect there are various errors in the data sheet... but my I2C
    experience is limited to serial eeproms and RTC chips. None of those
    ever emitted any clock.

  10. Yes, but for that you have 2 adresslines, which you can hardwire,
    so you can put 4 of them on the same I2C bus. So I repeat the
    question, why would you want to set the adress through some external
  11. Dana Raymond

    Dana Raymond Guest

    Sheesh! If you need to use 5 or more of the same part on the same I2C bus.

    I've used I2C and HAVE run into this limitation before. Got it?

    Dana Frank Raymond
  12. Andrew Paule

    Andrew Paule Guest

    Hi Frank -

    On the first question, I would never tie anything like this direct to
    Vdd, you lack a test point that is valid for board test, and if the
    part fails on the pin, you may take down others (been there done that in
    my younger days). Use of a pullup may not be "required', and use of a
    divider may not be "required", but it is good practice - I worked in
    ATE, and reliability and testability were the top two requirements
    beyond simple functionality. I still believe in the philosophy, and
    doing it cheap and easy leads to problems down the road.

    Problem is in either the data sheet or the part - there is no note on
    when the address is latched, or how they do it. They (TI) say that an
    active TTL or CMOS gate can set the address, and you may be able to do
    this after power up by a power up/power down cycle on the chip, but the
    data sheet does not tell you if you can. this information is lacking in
    the data sheet/app notes for the part, and unless I am willing to guess
    at the funcionality (with my references as noted), I could not tell you
    for certain what the behavior would be. I would either find out from
    TI, or would not use thepart in this manner. I've used tons of I2C
    parts in the past, but that does not make one bit of difference in my
    point here, unlesss TI coughs up the answer, it is not a known, and
    designing with an unknown when you can get so many knowns from so many
    places is not a good idea.

  13. James Beck

    James Beck Guest

    You set all devices to one address. They are all in conflict right?
    Wrong, they aren't in conflict until you try to get them to talk back to
    you. You then take the device you want to address and pull its address
    lines to a unique state and talk to it. When done you revert it back to
    the common unused address and do the same for the next device. That way
    you are kinda' using the address lines as chip selects. That is 1 way
    to do it and I'm sure others have done other things. You can only talk
    to one device at a time, so as long as the device you are talking to is
    the only one at that address there is no conflict. Can hand a lot of
    I2C devices off a CPU using just a few lines and a decoder or lines from
    an under utilized port.
    What is important is WHEN the device gets its address info. If the unit
    latches the A0, A1 values on power up then the scheme won't work. I
    have some EEPROMs that specifically state that they don't do the compare
    until after the address info has been latched, so they would be useful
    in that case.
    Any questions?

  14. No, no more questions ;) Thanks for explaining.
  15. Sometimes analog tinkering can resolve digital problems.
    Use an analog 2x4 MUX with Ron below 100E (like a good HC4052) in the SCL
    and SDA lines. Use 4K7 pullups on each side of the mux as the I2C pullups.
    Result: four busses selected using one chip, with binary bus selection.
    Clock stretching supported.

    Arie de Muynck
  16. James Beck

    James Beck Guest

    That's even mo' better, and the list grows......

  17. Peter

    Peter Guest

    I heard from TI today.

    There is a mistake in the data sheet; the A0/A1 pins cannot be
    (usefully) driven from external logic. They are internally latched at
    power up (must be "after power up" or "after VCC is defined" otherwise
    the only scheme which would be reliable would be A0=A1=GND) and cannot
    be changed afterwards unless you drive the ADC's VCC via a MOSFET and
    cycle it :)

    So I have to mod my PCB and ground both of them directly.

    The ADC can also apparently stretch the clock (it shorts it to GND
    with an open-drain FET); apparently this is a standard I2C feature. I
    will have a lot of fun bit-bashing this interface with an H8/325...

    I wish the data sheet was clearer on the details, rather than assuming
    somebody knows the whole I2C protocol. There are also other errors in
    it which are misleading, e.g. in the timing diagram where you are
    reading the data out of it (there is no apparent alignment between the
    clock and the data changing; in reality the data changes on the
    falling clock edge.

  18. Dana Raymond

    Dana Raymond Guest

    Peter... Did you get my post about clock stretching, switching VDD, and
    including the I2C specification attached?

    BTW if you do feed the address bits while the chip is powered down you need
    to prevent current being injected into those pins, which will end up on
    VDDdue to their catch diodes.

    The 'safest' way of doing this is to drive an address line with a pullup
    resistor to VDD and the drain of an 2N7002 fet. No current will be sourced
    while VDD is off, and the address pin will 'see' VDD while powering up.

    Yes, you bank all 'unselected' parts to the same address and don't use that
    address. You remove the part or group of parts from the unselected bank by
    assigning a specific address(s) to it/them.

    The I2C spec is easy to read. Did you receive it?

    Dana Frank Raymond
  19. Peter

    Peter Guest

    No, I didn't.
    No, haven't seen it. The problem is that I am trying to bit-bash this
    in the simplest possible way... the whole spec is probably too much to

  20. Dana Raymond

    Dana Raymond Guest

    I've done bit bashing of the I2C spec, including clock stretching. Its not
    that difficult so long as you understand the signalling events. Send me your
    email and I'll be happy to send the spec to you. Believe me, its worth it. I
    did send it to the newsgroup along with my message, and received it here.
    Perhaps not all ISPs allow for storage of attachments?

    Dana Frank Raymond
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