Advantages of SPI | disadvantages of SPI

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of SPI. It mentions SPI advantages or benefits and SPI disadvantages or drawbacks. It also describes SPI interface basics.

What is SPI?

• SPI stands for Serial Peripheral Interface.
• It uses four lines for communication between devices viz. one master and multiple slaves. They are MOSI (Master Out Slave In) , MISO (Master In Slave Out), SCLK (Serial Clock) and SS (Slave Select).
• It supports data rate of about 10 to 20 Mbps. Maximum limit is not specified in SPI interface specifications.
• It is synchronous communication as there is one common serial clock used between one master and one/many slave devices.

SPI interface diagram

Refer UART vs SPI vs I2C >> and SPI Interface >> for more information.

Benefits or advantages of SPI

Following are the benefits or advantages of SPI:
➨It is very simple protocol hence it does not require processing overheads. Designers need to understand respective read/write timing diagrams of microcontroller/EPROM in order to use it.
➨It supports full duplex communication.
➨SPI uses push-pull configuration and hence higher data rates and longer distances are supported by SPI.
➨It consumes less power than I2C interface.
➨Data can be transferred at high speed in tens of MHz

Drawbacks or disadvantages of SPI

Following are the disadvantages of SPI:
➨It uses one CS line per slave and hence hardware complexity increases if slave devices are more in the design.
➨In order to add slave device, software needs to be changed and extra CS line is required to be added.
➨No flow control and no acknowledgment used in SPI.
➨Master and Slave relationships mapped to the devices can not be altered unlike I2C interface.
➨Master may not be aware whether slave is present or absent. Handshaking is needed using software.

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