2-to-1 I2C-bus master selector with interrupt logic and reset
Rev. 03 — 16 July 2009
Product data sheet
1. General description
The PCA9541A is a 2-to-1 I2C-bus master selector designed for high reliability dual
master I2C-bus applications where system operation is required, even when one master
fails or the controller card is removed for maintenance. The two masters (for example,
primary and back-up) are located on separate I2C-buses that connect to the same
downstream I2C-bus slave devices. I2C-bus commands are sent by either I2C-bus master
and are used to select one master at a time. Either master at any time can gain control of
the slave devices if the other master is disabled or removed from the system. The failed
master is isolated from the system and will not affect communication between the on-line
master and the slave devices on the downstream I2C-bus.
Two versions are offered for different architectures. PCA9541A/01 with channel 0 selected
at start-up, and PCA9541A/03 with no channel selected after start-up.
The interrupt outputs are used to provide an indication of which master has control of the
bus. One interrupt input (INT_IN) collects downstream information and propagates it to
the 2 upstream I2C-buses (INT0 and INT1) if enabled. INT0 and INT1 are also used to let
the previous bus master know that it is not in control of the bus anymore and to indicate
the completion of the bus recovery/initialization sequence. Those interrupts can be
disabled and will not generate an interrupt if the masking option is set.
A bus recovery/initialization if enabled sends nine clock pulses, a not acknowledge, and a
STOP condition in order to set the downstream I2C-bus devices to an initialized state
before actually switching the channel to the selected master.
An interrupt is sent to the upstream channel when the recovery/initialization procedure is
An internal bus sensor senses the downstream I2C-bus trafﬁc and generates an interrupt
if a channel switch occurs during a non-idle bus condition. This function is enabled when
the PCA9541A recovery/initialization is not used. The interrupt signal informs the master
that an external I2C-bus recovery/initialization needs to be performed. It can be disabled
and an interrupt will not be generated.
The pass gates of the switches are constructed such that the VDD pin can be used to limit
the maximum high voltage, which will be passed by the PCA9541A. This allows the use of
different bus voltages on each pair, so that 1.8 V, 2.5 V, or 3.3 V devices can communicate
with 5 V devices without any additional protection.
The PCA9541A does not isolate the capacitive loading on either side of the device, so the
designer must take into account all trace and device capacitances on both sides of the
device, and pull-up resistors must be used on all channels.
External pull-up resistors pull the bus to the desired voltage level for each channel. All I/O
pins are 6.0 V tolerant.