I2C is an acronym for Inter Integrated Circuit bus. The I2C bus was developed in the early 1980s by Philips semiconductors. Its purpose was to provide an easy way to connect a CPU to peripheral chips in a TV-set.
The BUS physically consists of 2 active wires and a ground connection. The active wires, SDA and SCL, are both bidirectional. Where SDA is the Serial DAta line and SCL is the Serial CLock line.
Every component hooked up to the bus has its own unique address whether it is a CPU, LCD driver, memory, or complex function chip. Each of these chips can act as a receiver and/or transmitter depending on its functionality. Obviously an LCD driver is only a receiver, while a memory or I/O chip can both be transmitter and receiver. Furthermore there may be one or more BUS MASTERs.
The BUS MASTER is the chip issuing the commands on the BUS. In the I2C protocol specification it is stated that the IC that initiates a data transfer on the bus is considered the BUS MASTER. At that time all the others are regarded to as the BUS SLAVEs. As mentioned before, the IC bus is a Multi-MASTER BUS. This means that more than one IC capable of initiating data transfer can be connected to it.
Some I2C device drivers are available: