SC16IS7xxRK (community library)


Name Value
Name SC16IS7xxRK
Version 0.0.1
Installs 482
License MIT
Download .tar.gz

I2C and SPI UART driver for Particle devices

Example Build Testing

Device OS Version:

This table is generated from an automated build. Success only indicates that the code compiled successfully.

Library Read Me

This content is provided by the library maintainer and has not been validated or approved.


I2C and SPI UART driver for Particle devices

From the NXP datasheet:

The SC16IS740/750/760 is a follower I²C-bus/SPI interface to a single-channel high performance UART. It offers data rates up to 5 Mbit/s and guarantees low operating and sleeping current. The SC16IS750 and SC16IS760 also provide the application with 8 additional programmable I/O pins. The device comes in very small HVQFN24, TSSOP24 (SC16IS750/760) and TSSOP16 (SC16IS740) packages, which makes it ideally suitable for handheld, battery operated applications. This family of products enables seamless protocol conversion from I²C-bus or SPI to and RS-232/RS-485 and are fully bidirectional.

This library also supports the SC16IS752 and SC16IS762 dual UART.

Chip features
SC16IS7xx Ports IrDA GPIO SPI Max
SC16IS740 1 4 Mbps
SC16IS750 1 115.2 Kbps 8 4 Mbps
SC16IS760 1 1.152 Mbps 8 15 Mbps
SC16IS752 2 115.2 Kbps 4 Mbps
SC16IS762 2 1.152 Mbps 15 Mbps
  • IrDA and GPIO not currently supported by this library.
Chip packages
SC16IS740IPW x
SC16IS750IBS x
SC16IS760IBS x
SC16IS750IPW x
SC16IS760IPW x
SC16IS752IPW x
SC16IS762IPW x
SC16IS752IBS x
SC16IS762IBS x

Serial connections and flow control

The SC16IS7xx supports both hardware and software flow control, though this library only supports optional hardware flow control.

SC16IS7xx Direction Description
TX Output UART transmitter output. Connect to other side's RX.
RX Input UART receiver input. Connecvt to other sides' TX.
/CTS Input UART clear to send (active LOW). Other side is ready to receive data when LOW.
/RTS Output UART request to send (active LOW). The SC16IS7xx can receive data when LOW.
/DSR Data set ready. Optional flow control pin manually controlled as GPIO.
/DTR Data terminal ready. Optional flow control pin manually controlled as GPIO.
/CD Carrier detect. Optional flow control pin manually controlled as GPIO.
/RI Ring indictor. Optional flow control pin manually controlled as GPIO.

Both the RX/TX pair and CTS/RTS pair are typically crossed between the two sides of the UART serial link. In other words, RX on one side connects to TX on the other and vice-versa.

The last four flow control signals are rarely used. The library does not currently support setting and reading these pins.

Note that the serial outputs are 3.3V and the inputs must be 3.3V or 5V. If you are connecting to RS-232 or RS-485 you need the appropriate driver chip to shift the levels.

Automatic hardware flow control (CTS/RTS) is optional and can be enabled on a per-port basis.

Serial settings

Baud rates

The chip requires an external crystal, which is typically either 1.8432 MHz or 3.072 MHz. Both are supported by the library:

Baud Rate 1.8432 MHz 3.072 MHz
50 x x
75 x x
110 0.026 0.026
134.5 0.058 0.034
150 x x
300 x x
600 x x
1200 x x
1800 x 0.312
2000 0.069 x
2400 x x
3600 x 0.628
4800 x x
7200 x 1.23
9600 x x
19200 x x
38400 x x
56000 2.86
115200 x
  • A number in the table above indicates the percentage deviation from the baud rate. Because of the large deviation, 56000 baud is not recommended for use with a 1.8432 MHz crystal.
  • An empty space in the table above indicates that there is no divisor that can produce this baud rate with that crystal.

When using higher baud rates, using buffered read mode is recommended. At 115200 baud approximately 11,520 bytes per second can be transmitted. Since the FIFO can be serviced 1000 times per second, with a read of up to 64 bytes, this is still within the capability of both SPI and I2C. SPI at 4 Mbit/sec. is recommended, however I2C will work. Using I2C in 400 Kbit/sec mode is recommended over the default of 100 Kbit/sec., however all I2C devices must be able to support 400 Kbit/sec. mode in order to use it.

Word lengths

The chip and library support 5, 6, 7, and 8 bit word lengths.

Stop bits

The chip and library support 1 or 2 stop bits at 6, 7, or 8 bit word lengths. At 5 bit word length, 1 or 1 1/2 stop bits are supported.


The chip and library support no parity, even, odd, forced 0, and forced 1 parity.

Buffered read mode

The chip has a 64-byte FIFO. In some situations, you may not be able to read the data out of the FIFO fast enough from the main application loop thread if you have other blocking operations. To solve this problem, buffered read mode can be enabled.

When using buffered read, a worker thread is used to read the chip FIFO. Since the worker thread gets CPU time 1000 times per second, it can easily read data up to the maximum baud rate


This library optionally can use the hardware interrupt (IRQ) feature of the SC16IS7xx. Use is optional but not as useful as you'd think. In particular, it will not make data transfer faster or have lower latency!

  • It is not possible to start an I2C or SPI transaction from an ISR. However the chip must be queried to to determine which interrupt triggered.

  • Since you can only start transactions from a thread, interrupts don't reduce the latency any more than polling.

  • Interrupts do have a small benefit in that the thread would not have to query the chip on every loop, 1000 times per second. This is especially true when using I2C and you are infrequently transferring data.

  • Received data interrupts are only used in buffered read mode. In normal mode, the chip is queried on every read anyway, and interrupts would have no benefit.

Usage overview

The examples show how to use most of the library features, however a detailed description is provided below.

Declare an object

For the SC16IS740, SC16IS750, or SC16IS760, instantiate an object for the chip. This is typically done as a global object, but can be allocated on the heap using new. The constructor does very little and is safe as a global object.

SC16IS7x0 extSerial;

For the SC16IS752 and SC16IS762, declare:

SC16IS7x2 extSerial;

The object is not a singleton because you can have multiple chips. Using the A0 and A1, up to 16 chips can be added to an I2C bus. The number of chips connected to a single GPIO is limited only by the number of available GPIO as each chip must have a unique CS line.

Set SPI or I2C mode

Typically from global setup() you set the options for the chip.


To use SPI, you specify which SPI port (typically SPI), the CS pin, and the speed in MHz. The speed is optional, and defaults to 4 MHz.

// SPI port, CS line
extSerial.withSPI(&SPI, D4, 4);

The SC16IS760 and SC16IS762 can run at SPI bus speeds up to 15 MHz but all other chips are limited to 4 MHz. Unlike SPI, each device on the SPI bus can run at a different speed and when an SPI transaction begins, the speed, bit order, and mode are set.


To use I2C mode, use withI2C() specifying which I2C interface (typically Wire) and the index or I2C address:

extSerial.withI2C(&Wire, 0);
A1 A0 Index I2C Address
VDD VDD 0 0x48
VDD GND 1 0x49
VDD SCL 2 0x4a
VDD SDA 3 0x4b
GND VDD 4 0x4c
GND GND 5 0x4d
GND SCL 6 0x4e
GND SDA 7 0x4f
SCL VDD 8 0x50
SCL GND 9 0x51
SCL SCL 10 0x52
SCL SDA 11 0x53
SDA VDD 12 0x54
SDA GND 13 0x55
SDA SCL 14 0x56
SDA SDA 15 0x57

When using I2C, it's recommended that you use 400 KHz mode, with a caveat: With I2C, every device must be able to support 400 KHz mode in order to enable it. Unlike SPI, all chips must support the higher data rate and it is enabled globally for all devices.

Set other options

The default is 1843200 (1.8432 MHz). If you are using a 3.072 MHz crystal, set the oscillator frequency to 3072000. This is necessary to the baud rate is correctly set.


The setting made be set before calling begin().


If you want to use hardware IRQ mode, use withIRQ.


Using hardware IRQ is optional, and does not reduce latency or make the data transfer faster!

IRQ mode must be enabled before buffered read mode, and before calling begin().


This does a software reset of the chip. Since hardware reset or System.reset() does not reset the chip, using softwareReset() during setup() is a good practice.


This is typically called at startup before calling begin().


This call is optional but you may want to call it after calling softwareReset(), especially during development.

It examines several registers to make sure they're in the expected state. If you do not use softwareReset the chip may be incorrectly flagged as failing powerOnCheck because the registers have already been programmed to a non-default state.

Per-port settings

The SC16IS740, SC16IS750, and SC16IS760 are single-port devices and the SC16IS7x0 object is derived from SC16IS7xxPort so all per-port options can be used with your extSerial object directly.


Since the SC16IS752 and SC16IS762 have two ports, you need to specify which port. You can use a() and b() to access port A or port B:


Alternatively, you can use the [] operator. This is useful if you want to specify which port from a variable.


Additionally, even though it's not required, on the single-port chips you can use a() or [0] to access the single port so your code can be the same for the SC16IS7x0 and SC16IS7x2.

// Optional, but works on the SC16IS7x0 for consistency with the SC16IS7x2.

Buffered read mode uses a thread to read the chip, reducing the likelihood of FIFO overrun. The parameter is the size of the buffer to allocate on the heap.

extSerial.withBufferedRead(1024);     // SC16IS7x0 only
extSerial.a().withBufferedRead(1024); // SC16IS7x0 or SC16IS7x2
extSerial.b().withBufferedRead(1024); // SC16IS7x2 only

The setting made be set before calling begin(). This setting is per-port


Finally you must call begin(). This sets the baud rate, stop bits, parity, and optionally enables hardware flow control. The default is 8N1 (8 bits, no parity, one stop bit), and flow control disabled.

extSerial.begin(9600);     // SC16IS7x0 only
extSerial.a().begin(9600); // SC16IS7x0 or SC16IS7x2
extSerial.b().begin(9600); // SC16IS7x2 only

You can call begin more than once if you want to change the baud rate. The FIFOs are cleared when you call begin.

Available baud rates depend on your oscillator, but with a 1.8432 MHz oscillator, the following are supported: 50, 75, 110, 134.5, 150, 300, 600, 1200, 1800, 2000, 2400, 3600, 4800, 7200, 9600, 19200, 38400, 57600, 115200

The valid options in standard number of bits; none=N, even=E, odd=O; number of stop bits format: OPTIONS_8N1, OPTIONS_8E1, OPTIONS_8O1, OPTIONS_8N2, OPTIONS_8E2, OPTIONS_8O2, OPTIONS_7N1, OPTIONS_7E1, OPTIONS_7O1, OPTIONS_7N2, OPTIONS_7E2, OPTIONS_7O2

extSerial.begin(9600, SC16IS7xxPort::OPTIONS_7E1);

Unlike the Device OS options, the SC16IS7xx OPTIONS_8N1 value is not 0! If you omit are enabling hardware flow control be sure to set it like:

extSerial.begin(9600, SC16IS7xxPort::OPTIONS_8N1 | SC16IS7xxPort::OPTIONS_FLOW_CONTROL_RTS_CTS);

If you leave off the OPTIONS_8N1 the output will be 5N1, not 8N1!

Browse Library Files