New I2C standard document by NXP : "Controller" and "Target"

"Controller" and "Target" :

There is a new version of the standard I2C document. Version 7 of October 1, 2021: https://www.nxp.com/docs/en/user-guide/UM10204.pdf

The biggest change is other names for "Master" and "Slave". It is now "Controller" and "Target".

I think we all should use "Controller" and "Target" from now on.
That means the "Master Writer/Slave Receiver" example should be called "Controller Writer / Target Receiver".

Background information :

The Philips company in the Netherlands created the I2C bus 40 years ago. That part of the company became "NXP". They set the standard for the I2C bus.

The UM10204 is the most referenced document, and was not changed since 2014.

In the new version are also a few other changes. As far as I can tell, they are minor changes. Everything that concerns the existing I2C bus is the same.

Sparkfun has changed the names to "Controller" and "Peripheral" some time ago (see their page about I2C). I think they have to change it to "Controller" and "Target" as well.

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Now this document is "politically correct" :frowning:

The new religion of wokeism...

There is nothing new about adverse reactions to the abhorrent dyad "master/slave".

When I was learning electronics in college in the early 1990s, the lecturer began to teach us about master and slave flip-flops. I baulked and considered leaving the course, and asked the lecturer about the origins of these words and how they made their way into the electronics field.

This started a lively debate amongst the others in the lecture, so the lecturer asked us to invent new terms. We discussed father and son flip-flops that mirrored the terms motherboard and daughterboard; and master/servant. I suggested senior and junior flip-flops like a in a legal practise where you typically have senior and junior partners working in consensual harmony.

This has been a frequent topic of discussion amongst students for decades when they are confronted with the abhorrent dyad of "master/slave" for the first time in the classroom or lecture theatre.

NXP Semiconductors recently released v7 of the I2C-bus specification which has:

Updated the terms "master/slave" to "controller/target" throughout to align with MIPI I3C specification and NXP's Inclusive Language Project

More broadly, the abhorrent dyad of "master/slave" is being deprecated from the field of electronics.

I will admit I've never been in, nor has my family line been in a situation where master/slave referred to human beings. So I fortunately don't have personal connection with the use of these words.

I understand these words remind some folks of the horrible concept that one human can own another. However we must remember, these are only words and their meaning is only in context or the receivers mind.

I believe that unfortunately somewhere in the world there are people with what we would call a actual master/slave relationship. I doubt they use the same words (perhaps a different language). And it is repugnant that it can occur in this day and age.

My point being the words are not the issue but the concept some folks conjure up when they here these words. Per Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word slave has multiple meanings, one is the control of a human being, another is a device dependent or controlled by another.

There are many others:

Kill switch vs Kill something vs Kill someone. All valid but with far different connotations.

My point being: its not the words that are the problem but the receivers interpretation of the intended meaning. Removing these works from printed material isn't going to do a bit of good, maybe even harm and folks will think they have done something "good" when in fact they have only masked the problem. Kind of like putting perfume in an outhouse waste pit.

Besides being in the wrong forum category, I expect some heated responses.

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If this is the kind of stuff that offends you, you are either

  • a very weak individual, or
  • you live a comfortable life, you never know what a real oppression looks like, and you need to be "oppressed" so you can relate to the actual people that is suffering

NXP sets the standard. They say it is "Controller" and "Target" from now on. So it is.