The Qwiic Connect System is designed to keep your projects moving.
The Qwiic Connect System uses the Inter-integrated Circuit (I2C) Protocol. I2C protocol is intended to allow multiple “slave” digital integrated circuits (“chips”) to communicate with one or more “master” chips with a mere two wires. We've adapted that technology to unlock the following benefits:
Cables plug easily between boards making quick work of setting up a new prototype. We currently offer three different lengths of Qwiic cables as well as a breadboard friendly cable to connect any Qwiic enabled board to anything else. Initially you may need to solder headers onto the shield to connect your platform to the Qwiic system but once that’s done it’s plug and go!
Qwiic cables connected to Spectral Sensor Breakout
How many times have you swapped the SDA and SCL wires on your breadboard hoping the sensor will start working? The Qwiic connector is polarized so you know you’ll have it wired correctly, every time, from the start.
The PCB connector is part number SM04B-SRSS (Datasheet) or equivalent. The mating connector used on cables is part number SHR04V-S-B or equivalent. This is a common and low cost connector.
1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector
It’s time to leverage the power of the I2C bus! Most Qwiic boards will have two or more connectors on them allowing multiple devices to be connected.
Qwiic was predominantly designed for sensors but we’re adding shields, sensors, actuators, and displays. You can also adapt your pre-existing SparkFun I2C products using the Qwiic Adapter.
Experimental Products: SparkX products are rapidly produced to bring you the most cutting edge technology as it becomes available. These products are tested but come with no guarantees. Live technical support is not available for SparkX products.
Any microcontroller with an I2C port will work with Qwiic. Currently, we offer four easy to use shields:
For devices like the popular Arduino Pro Mini 3.3V and Teensy we recommend either cutting a Qwiic cable in two or using the Qwiic Breadboard Cable and soldering the cable to the four spots on your development board.
We found it made more sense to solder four wires into place rather than 24 male pins and 24 female pins onto a shield that cost a bit of money as well. Easier and cheaper FTW!
Need more than one connection? Consider soldering four wires to a Qwiic Adapter. You’ll have two Qwiic ports for less than $1.
The very conservative max current on a Qwiic cable is 226mA. If you want to push it, 28AWG is good for up to 1.4A for chassis wiring: “isolated, unbundled wire in free air, as per the Handbook of Electronic Tables and Formulas for American Wire Gauge”. We wouldn’t recommend pushing the cables to 1.4A but hundreds of mA should be fine.
All Qwiic cables have the following color scheme and arrangement:
We deliberately chose four conductors to increase usability of the interconnecting cables, minimize the cost of the connectors, and limit the PCB footprint. All boards with extra pin options (such as interrupts, address selection, power save mode, etc) will have those pins broken out to 0.1" holes so the end user can add extra connections as needed.
I2C stands for inter-integrated circuit and we’ve got a tutorial dedicated to it here. The bus was designed to communicate between ICs on a printed circuit board so it wasn’t really designed to go long distances. That said, we’ve successfully communicated with sensors and boards over I2C over 1 meter (~4 ft).
If you need to communicate with sensors or devices that are many feet or tens of feet away you may need to look into other protocols such as RS485 which is good up to about 1200m (4000ft).
Absolutely. We would be thrilled if you used a Qwiic connector on your board or product! You can use the name Qwiic without royalties or attribution.
The requirements to say that your board is Qwiic or Qwiic-Compatible:
We may implement a DC buck/boost board in the future, but, for now, Qwiic only supports 3.3V boards. Currently over 90% of our I2C products are 3.3V, and the technology market is accelerating this trend.
What if you already have a handful of SparkFun sensors and parts? SparkFun has been putting our standard GND/VCC/SDA/SCL pinout on all our I2C boards for many years. This makes it possible to attach an Qwiic Adapter that will get your SparkFun I2C sensor or actuator onto the Qwiic system.
Here is the list of the boards that have the standard I2C pinout and will work with the Qwiic adapter board: