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While reading datasheet of an audio codec IC, I got confused over the term "2-wire MPU serial interface". Is that just another term for I2C (just like TWI or TWSI) and they are fully compatible? And what does MPU stand for?

In other datasheets of similar ICs it's also called "2-wire Serial Control Interface", "2-wire serial bus" or all of these together, which is, again, confusing…

If so, does anybody know when did I2C-related patents lapsed as Wikipedia claims? In other words, is it already safe to use name I2C in a new product's datasheet?

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2-Wire Serial Interface is just a name for I2C. The Block Diagram on the first page of the datasheet shows the control lines, it also specifies that you can use 2- or 3-wire interface to communicate with it.

MPU stands for micro-processing/processor unit (it's your microcontroller, in other words).

Regarding using I2C, the Wikipedia article clearly states: "Vendors use the name TWI, even though I²C is not a registered trademark as of 2014-11-07."

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Regarding the name, I took a quick glance at UM10204 Rev. 6, and didn't see where the name I2C-Bus is trademarked. I did see on page 62, "Section 9.3, Trademarks" the following note: "I2C-bus — logo is a trademark of NXP Semiconductors N.V."

The logo is shown on the title page of this document and differs from the name.

I am not dispensing legal advice!! I mentioned this so you can advise your attorney where to start looking. I strongly suggest you seek legal advice before you commercialize a product that could infringe on any patents or trademarks!

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