Texas Instruments I2C Level Translator Characterized for I3C

Texas Instruments I2C Level Translator Characterized for I3C

Texas Instruments has a hidden gem buried in their catalog of devices: an I3C Switch and Voltage-Level translator.  Officially marketed as a Dual Bidirectional I2C Bus and SMBus Voltage-Level Translator, the TCA39306 actually calls out I3C compatibility on the first page of its datasheet.

TCA39306 Datasheet, Page 1 [Link]

Aside from the two mentions shown in the screenshot above, usage with an I3C Controller is also included in the "Simplified Application Diagram" on the bottom of the first page as well. This datasheet is really talking the talk when it comes to I3C, but does it walk the walk? Actually, yes. Yes, it Does!

Section 9.3 of the datasheet is dedicated to the nuances of using this device on an I3C bus.

Kudos to the team at TI that put together this datasheet and backed up their bold claims of "I3C Compatible" with some rather thorough discussion of the nuanced details needed to successfully use this device on an I3C bus, as well as for calling out some of the challenges one may face when employing this chip for a role on an I3C bus. At this point, the only remaining mystery about this chip's I3C support is just to know why TI isn't doing more to market it as an I3C device.

Beyond the fact that there's a great level of detail in the datasheet about I3C, it also excites me that this IC is available in VSSOP and SOT packages which means we'll probably build up a circuit to play with it sooner or later.

Already working with I3C? Check out our I3C Basic Protocol Analyzer Plugin for Saleae Logic...