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README.md

i2c communications on ESP32

By Official I2C protocol as UM10204 I2C-Bus Specification and User Manual, A valid I2C transaction must be a START, at least one Data Byte, and a STOP. The Arduino environment is base on the AVR processor series, These Atmel CPU's implemention the I2C protocol allows unlimited pauses between protocol elements. The Espressif ESP32 implement enforces a Strict TimeOut between elements. This has resulted in perceived I2C bus stability issues (834,811,741,682,659 and many more. @lonerzzz created a partial solution #751.

The I2C protocol arbitrates exclusive ownership of the bus to a single Master Device from a START signal to the next STOP. A ReSTART operation is just a START signal inserted into this START -> STOP flow. Schematically like this:

START (Read or Write) -> ReSTART (Read or Write) -> STOP.

The existing Arduino code base is reliant on the AVR's ability to infintely pause a i2c transaction. The standard coding practice of:

// set internal address pointer in I2C EEPROM from which to read
Wire.beginTransmission(ID);
Wire.write(highByte(addr));
Wire.write(lowByte(addr));
uint8_t err =Wire.endTransmission(false); // don't send a STOP, just Pause I2C operations
if(err==0){ // successfully set internal address pointer
  uint8_t count=Wire.requestFrom(addr,len);
  if(count==0){ // read failed
    Serial.print("Bad Stuff!! Read Failed\n");
    }
  else {// successful read
    while(Wire.avaiable()){
      Serial.print((char)Wire.read());
      }
    Serial.println();
    }
  }

May not function correctly with the ESP32, actually usually will not function correctly. The current arduino-esp32 platform is built upon the espressif-idf which is built on FreeRTOS, a multi-process/processor operating system. The Arduino sketch is just one task executing on One of the Two processor cores. The TimeOut is triggered when the FreeRTOS Task Scheduler does a task switch between Wire.endTransmission(false); and the i2c activites inside Wire.requestfrom(). The maximum TimeOut interval is around 12ms.

This rewrite of Wire() is designed to avoid this TimeOut from ever being possible. To avoid the TimeOut this library uses a queuing system that does not allow an i2c transaction to start unless a STOP has been issued. But, alas, this creates some incompatibilities with the pre-exisiting Arduino code base. The changes to the standard Arduino Wire() coding are minimal, but, they are necessary:

// new, maybe Excessive Error Return codes for @stickbreaker:arduino-esp32
typedef enum {
    I2C_ERROR_OK=0,
    I2C_ERROR_DEV,
    I2C_ERROR_ACK,
    I2C_ERROR_TIMEOUT,
    I2C_ERROR_BUS,
    I2C_ERROR_BUSY,
    I2C_ERROR_MEMORY,
    I2C_ERROR_CONTINUE,
    I2C_ERROR_NO_BEGIN
} i2c_err_t;

// set internal address pointer in I2C EEPROM from which to read
Wire.beginTransmission(ID);
Wire.write(highByte(addr));
Wire.write(lowByte(addr));
uint8_t err =Wire.endTransmission(false); 
// don't send a STOP, just Pause I2C operations

//err will be I2C_ERROR_CONTINUE (7), an indication that the preceding
//transaction has been Queued, NOT EXECUTED

if(err == 7){ // Prior Operation has been queued
// it will be executed when the next STOP is encountered.
// if sendStop had equaled true, then a successful endTransmission() would have
// returned 0. So, if this if() was if(err==0), the Queue operation would be
// considered an error.  This is the primary Difference.

  uint8_t count=Wire.requestFrom(addr,len);
  if(Wire.lastError()!=0){ // complete/partial read failure
    Serial.printf("Bad Stuff!!\nRead of (%d) bytes read %d bytes\nFailed"
      " lastError=%d, text=%s\n", len, count, Wire.lastError(), 
      Wire.getErrorText(Wire.lastError()));
    }
  // some of the read may have executed
  while(Wire.avaiable()){
    Serial.print((char)Wire.read());
    }
  Serial.println();
  }

Additionally this implementation of Wire() includes methods to handle local buffer data blocks. These local buffer can be up to 64k-1 bytes in length.

New Methods:

    i2c_err_t writeTransaction(uint8_t address, uint8_t* buff, size_t size, bool sendStop);// big block handling
    size_t requestFrom(uint8_t address, uint8_t* buf, size_t size, bool sendStop);
    size_t transact(size_t readLen); // replacement for endTransmission(false),requestFrom(ID,readLen,true);
    size_t transact(uint8_t* readBuff, size_t readLen);// bigger Block read
    i2c_err_t lastError(); // Expose complete error
    char * getErrorText(uint8_t err); // return char pointer for text of err
    void dumpI2C(); // diagnostic dump of I2C control structure and buffers
    void dumpInts(); // diagnostic dump for the last 64 different i2c Interrupts
    void dumpOn(); // Execute dumpI2C() and dumpInts() after every I2C procQueue()
    void dumpOff(); // turn off dumpOn()
    size_t getClock(); // current i2c Clock rate
    void setTimeOut(uint16_t timeOutMillis); // allows users to configure Gross Timeout
    uint16_t getTimeOut();

transact() coding is:

// set internal address pointer in I2C EEPROM from which to read
Wire.beginTransmission(ID);
Wire.write(highByte(addr));
Wire.write(lowByte(addr));

uint8_t count=Wire.transact(len); // transact() does both Wire.endTransmission(false); and Wire.requestFrom(ID,len,true);
if(Wire.lastError() != 0){ // complete/partial read failure
  Serial.printf("Bad Stuff!! Read Failed lastError=%d\n",Wire.lastError());
  }
  // some of the read may have executed
while(Wire.avaiable()){
  Serial.print((char)Wire.read());
  }
Serial.println();

TIMEOUT's

The ESP32 I2C hardware, what I call the StateMachine(SM) is not documented very well, most of the the corner conditions and errata has been discovered throught trial and error. TimeOuts have been the bain of our existance.

Most were caused by incorrect coding of ReSTART operations, but, a Valid TimeOut operation was discovered by @lonerzzz. He was using a temperature/humidity sensor that uses SCL clock stretching while it does a sample conversion. The issue we discovered was that the SM does not continue after the timeout. It treats the timeout as a failure. The SM's hardware timeout maxes out at 13.1ms, @lonerzzz sensor a (HTU21D), uses SCL stretching while it takes a measurement. These SCL stretching events can last for over 120ms. The SM will issue a TIMEOUT IRQ every 13.1ms while SCL is held low. After SCL is release the SM immediately terminates the current command queue by issuing a STOP. It does NOT continue with the READ command(a protcol violation). In @lonerzzz's case the sensor acknowledges its I2C ID and the READ command, then it starts the sample conversion while holding SCL Low. After it completes the conversion, the SCL signal is release. When the SM sees SCL go HIGH, it initates an Abort by immediately issuing a STOP signal. So, the Sample was taken but never read.

The current library signals this occurence by returning I2C_ERROR_OK and a dataLength of 0(zero) back through the Wire.requestFrom() call.

Beta

This BETA release can be compiled with ESP32 Dev Module as its target. Selecting this board allow Core Debug Level to be selected. Setting the "core debug level" to 'error' will route verbose debug out Serial (uart0) when an i2c error occurs.

This version V0.2.0 14MAR2018 includes code to handle BUS_BUSY conditions. This status is usually indicative of a hardware bus glitch. The most common way for a BUS_BUSY condition to be created, is when the i2c peripheral has detected a low going spike on SDA and intrepreted it as another i2c MASTER device acquiring the bus. It will wait FORE EVER for the other 'Master' to complete it's transaction. Since this was a temporary signal glitch, not a secondary Master preforming operations, the only way to clear the BUS_BUSY condition is to reset the i2c peripheral. So, when a BUS_BUSY conditions is detected, a hardware reset is performed.

This works great, as long as, there is not ACTUALLY another Master on the bus. If this Library is used in a Multi-Master i2c configuration, it will FAIL with continuous ARBITRATION failures, BUS_BUSY errors.

Chuck.

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