bus arbitration The procedure in bus communication that chooses between connected devices contending for control of the shared bus; the device currently in control of the bus is often termed the bus master. Devices may be allocated differing priority levels that will determine the choice of bus master in case of contention. A device not currently bus master must request control of the bus before attempting to initiate a data transfer via the bus. The normal protocol is that only one device may be bus master at any time and that all other devices act as slaves to this master. Only a bus master may initiate a normal data transfer on the bus; slave devices respond to commands issued by the current bus master by supplying data requested or accepting data sent.
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