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I2C vs I2S-Difference between I2C and I2S

This page on I2C vs I2S describes basic difference between I2C and I2S.

I2C

I2C interface diagram

• I2C stands for "inter-IC bus". It is also used as I2C for simplicity.
• I2C is a low speed and two wire serial data connection bus used in IC(Integrated Circuit).
• It is used to run signals between ICs mounted on the same PCB (Printed Circuit Board).
• It uses only two lines between multiple masters and multiple slaves viz. SDA (Serial Data) and SCL (Serial Clock).
• I2C supports various data rates as per versions from 100 Kbps, 400 Kbps, 1 Mbps to 3.4 Mbps
• It is synchronous communication like SPI and unlike UART. Hence there is common clock signal between masters and slaves.
• It uses start and stop bits and ACK bit for every 8 bits of data transfer.
• Refer I2C vs SPI vs UART >>, I2C vs RS485 >> and advantages and disadvantages of I2C interface >> for more information.

I2S

I2S configurations

• I2S stands for Inter-IC Sound. It is also used as I2S for simplicity.
• I2S is used to connect digital audio devices. It is also an electrical bus interface standard.
• The I2S bus when used separates data and clock signals. Hence it results in very low jitter connection. I2S bus consists of following three lines:
• a word-select line (WS)
• a clock line (SCK)
• a multiplexed serial data line (SD)

The word select line indicates the channel being transmitted:
• For WS = 0 ➤ channel 1 (left)
• For WS = 1 ➤ channel 2 (right)

• Serial data is transmitted in two's complement with the MSB first. Refer 1s complement vs 2s complement >> for more information.

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