Probably. And, if it is, it should be possible to do direct SMB from the PICAXE you have.Wonder if there is any way of making a converter picaxe i2c or serial to SMB with extra components??
As said earlier it may be that what the chip is expecting is simply something which the PICAXE cannot do with HI2C commands but can be solved by bit-banging I2C. I will see if I can find code for doing that.