SLLA548A March   2021  – March 2022 ISO1540 , ISO1541 , ISO1640 , ISO1641 , ISO1642 , ISO1643 , ISO1644


  1.   Trademarks
  2. 1 What is Isolated I2C?
  3. 2 What is Hot Swap?
  4. 3 Benefits of Hot-Swappable Isolated I2C
  5. 4How Hot-Swap Capability is Achieved Today
  6. 5Robust Communication With the Built-in Hot-Swap Feature of the ISO164x
  7. 6Simplified System-Level ESD Protection Design With ISO164x
  8. 7Conclusion
  9. 8References
  10. 9Revision History

How Hot-Swap Capability is Achieved Today

Today’s sensitive, high-speed serial communication devices are not all designed to support hot-swap capabilities. In isolated I2C buses where it is necessary, hot swap is typically implemented with a staggered-pin design at the point of connection, which ensures grounds and local power supplies are reliably connected before other connections are made. Figure 4-1 shows an example of a staggered male connector.

GUID-20210316-CA0I-BBGC-GGXK-L9BDC5NR9MP4-low.png Figure 4-1 Example of a Staggered Male Connector Used in Hot-Swap Applications

Some I2C isolation devices are compatible with “power-on hot-swap” using staggered connectors or hot-swap controllers, which means I2C nodes using these devices might preserve communication on the bus only if the bus-side power supply (VCC) level of the device is always above or equal to the bus voltage levels during connection, and this is typically accomplished via hardware.

Figure 4-2 is an example of a hot-swappable isolated I2C device without pin pre-charge connected to an idle 3.3-V bus. Upon connection, plugging this partially hot-swappable device to a loaded bus reduces the bus voltage by over 60%, even in a “power-on hot swap” condition. The magnitude of this bus voltage dip varies for each system based on external factors, like the R and C values of the bus, and it could be low enough to cross the VIL, or low-level input voltage thresholds of several I2C devices, potentially causing false LOW readings by other devices connected to the bus. Compare this with an about 30% reduction when plugging ISO1640 to the same bus as shown in Figure 4-2 and Figure 4-3 .

GUID-20210316-CA0I-5PNM-9QGR-GDL465DHP55R-low.png Figure 4-2 Regular I2C Device Without pin Pre-charge Loading the 3.3-V bus Down to 1.2 V During Plug-in
GUID-20210316-CA0I-LLGL-NC3N-WJJGC6GVRZMJ-low.png Figure 4-3 Pin Pre-charge in ISO1640 Reduces bus Loading to 2.3 V During a Hot-Swap Plug-in

As mentioned in Section 3, an I2C bus can be affected in multiple ways by devices that are not fully hot-swap-capable. Depending on the internal structure of the SDA and SCL bus pins of a device, the bus may be prevented from communicating when the device is powered down or the bus-side voltage supply, Vcc2, is ramping or left floating. Waveforms of these conditions are shown by Figure 4-4 and Figure 4-6; waveforms of the same scenario when using ISO1640 instead are shown by Figure 4-5 and Figure 4-7 .

GUID-20210316-CA0I-GZQR-ZSJ2-TRWHL7QJC89N-low.png Figure 4-4 Regular I2C Device Corrupting bus Communication During Plug-in
GUID-20210316-CA0I-9CGC-ZB5D-WCMFZV4Q6BVR-low.png Figure 4-5 Hot-Swappable ISO1640 Maintains Data Integrity of the bus During Plug-in
GUID-20210316-CA0I-SHHR-T0S6-DZ35TF9QKB00-low.png Figure 4-6 I2C bus Clamped to Approximately 2 V From 3.3 V by a Regular I2C Device When its Bus-Side Power Supply is Floating
GUID-20210316-CA0I-PBTH-5KXQ-XVQGSK5QX9M2-low.png Figure 4-7 I2C bus is Unaffected if the Vcc2 Supply of the ISO1640 is Floating

Along with these cases where unpowered “power-on hot swap” devices are first connected to I2C buses, similar communication errors can also occur in regular non-hot swappable devices resulting from transients coupling to unintended sections of the internal circuitry of an I2C device during every LOW-to-HIGH transition on an I2C bus if signal rise times are fast enough.