MCP23017T 16-Channel I/O Expander SOIC - 1.7MHz, I2C - Cover Expand

MCP23017T 16-Channel I/O Expander SOIC - 1.7MHz, I2C



The MCP23017T I/O Expander utilises the I2C pins to control up to 16 channels, allowing you to create very complex projects with minimal MCU pins.

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As Makers who love Microcontrollers, we often find ourselves wanting to build bigger, better and more badass projects as we advance our skills. However, given the low cost and “limited” functionality of Arduino Boards and even Raspberry Pi for some applications, it’s not uncommon to run into the problem of having too few I/O pins to let your project reach its fullest potential. This is why we love IC chips like the MCP23017T, which is a 16-Channel I/O Expander SOIC that operates on an impressive 1.7MHz frequency, offering I2C interface and the ability to stack together – using just the I2C pins on your MCU to control between 16 and 128 I/O pins depending on how many MCP23017 Chips you want to stack.

These awesome capabilities make the MCP23017 chip the perfect solution for building your large LED Matrix Displays, LED Cubes or extended LED Segment modules, as well as a range of other applications like sensor networks, while still allowing you to use all of the standard I/O pins on your Arduino or Raspberry Pi Boards for other things too!

In addition to simply breaking out I/O pins for complex and advanced projects, some of the key features of this chip include:

  • An impressively Wide Voltage Range of between 1.8V and 5.5V, allowing it to be used in conjunction with many different microcontrollers.
  • Interrupt Outputs that eliminate the need for constant polling, with interrupt service routines to quickly react to input changes.
  • Stacking Capabilities that allow users to stack up to 8 chips via a single I2C Bus, opening up the possibilities for breaking out 128 I/O pins while still using only two I2C pins.
  • High Operational Source and Sink Current, meaning that you can source or supply the necessary power to connected LED’s, sensors and other components without having to use external MOSFETs or Transistors.
  • A Tasty 25mA Output Per Pin, allowing users to fully power standard 20mA LED Units, while still having some extra tolerance for unexpected peaks.

As you can probably tell from the input voltage range and the current capabilities, the MCP23017 is primarily designed for driving LED’s, matrices and segment displays, although it can still be used for other applications too, such as driving servos and other electromechanical devices in home automation, creating sensor networks (as long as they are digital sensors), or even building an advanced solar tracking system for an array of panels situated on different surfaces or in different orientations.


MCP23017T 16-Channel I2C I/O Expander SOIC  -  Technical Specifications:

  • Manufacturer

– MicroChip                                                                      

  • Model No.

– MCP23017T

  • Operating Voltage Range

– 1.8V to 5.5V DC

  • Maximum Current (VSS Pin)

– 150mA (Sink)

  • Maximum Current (VDD pin)

– 125mA (Source)

  • Input/Output Clamp Current

– ±20mA

  • Max Sink/Source Current Per Pin

– 25mA

  • Total Power Dissipation

– 700mW

  • I2C Bus Frequency

– 1.7 Mbps

  • Expanded I/O Ports

– 16

  • Hardware Address Pins

– 3 (8 Total Addresses for Stacking)

  • Pin Count

– 28

  • Form Factor


  • Mounting Style

– Surface Mount

  • Safe Operating Temperatures

– -40° to +125°C

  • Dimensions

– 10.2 x 7.8 x 2mm


Additional Resources:

  • The following is an Excellent MCP23017 I/O Expander Tutorial, which details some of the key features of the chip, how it compares to similar chips like the 74HC595 shift register, as well as Arduino code examples to help you understand the fine intricacies of using this awesome chip.


Finally, this is an awesome video that explains more about the MCP23017, and gives great examples of it being used with both Arduino and Raspberry Pi:


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