Excamera Labs has launched its crowdfunding campaign for I²CMini, an open source ultra-compact bridge board designed to drive and monitor inter-integrated circuit (I²C) traffic.
"I²CMini is a USB to I²C bridge. It can drive and monitor I²C traffic and measures just 18mm square," Excamera explains of the board. "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 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 [Internet of Things] and drones, cleanly separating your SBC [single-board computer] from the I²C bus. Because it is totally compatible with I²CDriver, you can develop on the I²CDriver and deploy on the I²CMini."
The board uses an FTDI USB controller for communication with a host PC, meaning driver-free use on Linux, macOS, and Windows, and includes a separate 3.3V supply for sensors and peripherals. The Qwiic connector, meanwhile, makes it compatible with devices from SparkFun's Qwiic solder-free ecosystem — including, of course, Excamera's earlier Qwiic-equipped I²CDriver board.
"If you want to connect an I²C peripheral to a CPU with USB," Excamera claims, "I²CMini is the ideal interface. Its straightforward open source hardware and software design make it the maker's choice."
The board is now available to back on Crowd Supply. The Core reward level includes a single I²CMini and compatible cable for $17; the Expert level features three I²CMini boards, three Qwiic cables, six I²C modules, and two carrier boards; the Gold upgrades that to 20 modules and four carrier boards; and the Ten reward level, as the name suggests, includes ten I²CMini boards and Qwiic cables.