What isSystem Management Bus


SMBus (System Management Bus) is an interface that connects the CPU (Central Processing Unit) with other computer system components for slow system management communications. It was created by Intel and is used for various purposes, including transmitting charging requests from the battery to the CPU.

How Does it Work?

According to its name, SMBus is a bus architecture, which means it is a communication pathway shared by different components. It uses a two-wire serial interface, consisting of a data line (SDA) and a clock line (SCL), to communicate between devices. In addition, SMBus includes two types of memory:

  • Processor information ROM (PIROM): This type of memory stores information about the CPU, such as its model, stepping, and other details that can be used for system management purposes.
  • Empty EEPROM: This type of memory can be used by manufacturers and resellers to store usage and service data, which can help diagnose problems or provide warranty services.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of SMBus?

SMBus provides a standardized, low-cost way to manage and monitor system components. It can transmit small amounts of data at low speeds, which is sufficient for many system management operations.

What devices use SMBus?

SMBus is used in various computer components, such as the battery, power supply, and temperature sensors. It is also used in some non-computer devices, such as appliances and medical equipment.

What is the difference between SMBus and I2C?

SMBus is a subset of the I2C (Inter-Integrated Circuit) protocol, with some additional requirements and restrictions. SMBus devices are compatible with I2C devices, but not the other way around.


In summary, SMBus is a communication interface used for slow system management operations between the CPU and other components. It provides a standardized and low-cost way to monitor and manage computer systems. It uses a two-wire serial interface and includes two types of memory for storing system information. Many computer and non-computer devices use SMBus for various purposes.

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