I²CMini is a USB to I²C bridge. It can drive and monitor I²C traffic and measures just 18 mm square. It has a micro USB connector, a Qwiic connector on the I²C side, and .1" pins for a breadboard or pin header. I²CMini is 100% compatible with I²CDriver, and like I²CDriver (i2cdriver.com) it’s an easy-to-use, open source tool for controlling I²C devices. It has a GUI that works with Windows, Mac, and Linux, and it has first-class Python2/3, C/C++, and command-line tools.
I²CMini is particularly well-suited for applications like IoT and drones, cleanly separating your SBC from the I²C bus. Because it is totally compatible with I²CDriver, you can develop on the I²CDriver and deploy on the I²CMini.
Like I²CDriver, it works equally well with Windows, Mac, and Linux. It uses a standard FTDI USB serial chip to talk to the PC, so no special drivers need to be installed. The board includes a separate 3.3 V supply for your I²C sensors and peripherals.
On the I²C side, I²CMini has the same four-pin header for connecting to peripherals as the I²CDriver. You can solder directly to this .1 " header. It also offers a Sparkfun Qwiic-compatible connector. Qwiic is a new standard for building I²C networks without soldering.
I²CMini comes with free (as in freedom) software to control it from:
Like I²CDriver, it can both drive and listen on the I²C bus, and it has the same programmable pullup resistors for both I²C lines.
If you want to connect an I²C peripheral to a CPU with USB, I²CMini is the ideal interface. Its straightforward Open Source hardware and software design make it the maker’s choice.
By controlling I²C hardware using the PC tools you’re most comfortable with, you can get devices doing what you want in a fraction of the development time. Calibrating devices like accelerometers, magnetometers, and gyroscopes is much easier when done directly on the PC.
I²CMini ships with Python examples using small groups of I²C devices to make something useful.
At 2.1 g and 18 x 18 mm, the I²CMini will fit into the tinyiest projects, so after developing on the full-size I²CDriver, you can drop the I²CMini into small spaces like drones and IoT devices.
Because it uses the same proven firmware and toolchain as I²CDriver, I²CMini is the solid, reliable choice for driving your sensors and peripherals. Its a straightforward interface - it appears as a standard serial device - giving you a high level of portability and maintainability. There are no special drivers to install, so code for I²CMini and I²CDriver can work on any platform.
Compare: I²CDriver and I²CMini
|Tool||Open hardware / software||Additional sensors||No driver install||Host software||Price (USD)|
|I²CMini||Yes||Core temperature||Yes||GUI, command-line, Python, C/C++, and flashrom||$25|
|Totalphase Aardvark||No||None||No||Command-line, Python, C/C++||$300|
|FTDI MPSSE cable||No||None||No||C/C++||$27.30|
|Bus Pirate||Yes||Input||Yes||Command-line. Python, flashrom||$27.15|
The "Core" package is an I²CMini with a Qwiic connector cable.
The "Expert" package is for makers building serious I²C sensing and control applications. It includes three I²CMini modules with Qwiic connector cables, and a selection of input and output I²C modules from Electric Dollar Store:
plus two carrier PCBs for permanently mounting the modules.
The "Gold" package is even more extensive. It includes three I²CMini modules with Qwiic connector cables and a complete line of 20 I²C modules from Electric Dollar Store :
plus four carrier PCBs for permanently mounting the modules.