I/O Expanders

I/O expandersare a type of computer hardware that allows more than one device to connect to a single port on a computer.

How do I/O expanders work?

The expander connects to a single spot, but has multiple connections for other devices. Such expanders offer the advantage of allowing more devices of a particular port type to be used at the same time. This commonly used with USBs and ethernet ports.

Types of I/O expanders

There are two main types of I/O expanders: internal and external.

Internal expanders

These have a connection inside the computer, typically on the motherboard, and the only part the user can see is the expansion plate which houses the ports to which they can connect more devices.

External expanders

An external expander plugs into an existing port introducing multiple new places to connect. When not part of a computer system, these devices are commonly known as splitters.


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Description Price Number of I/O Channels Interface Number of Pins Package Type Clock Frequency Mounting Type Maximum Supply Voltage Minimum Supply Voltage
RS Stock No. 124-2365
Mfr. Part No.PCF8574TS/3,112
BrandNXP
HK$12.525
Each (In a Tube of 75)
units
8 I2C 20 SSOP 100kHz Surface Mount 6 V 2.5 V
RS Stock No. 889-5128
Mfr. Part No.MCP23017-E/SS
BrandMicrochip
HK$10.637
Each (In a Tube of 47)
units
16 I2C 28 SSOP 1.7MHz Surface Mount - -
RS Stock No. 190-6900
Mfr. Part No.MAX7301ATL+T
HK$57.865
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
- - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 727-5715
Mfr. Part No.PCA9555BS,118
BrandNXP
HK$18.69
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
16 I2C, SMBus 24 HVQFN 400kHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 2.3 V
RS Stock No. 823-4226
Mfr. Part No.PCA9535ECDWR2G
HK$20.486
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
16 I2C 24 SOIC 1MHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 1.65 V
RS Stock No. 177-2849
Mfr. Part No.MCP23S08T-E/SO
BrandMicrochip
HK$9.072
Each (On a Reel of 1100)
units
8 SPI 18 SOIC 10MHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 1.8 V
RS Stock No. 177-2846
Mfr. Part No.MCP23017T-E/ML
BrandMicrochip
HK$10.85
Each (On a Reel of 1600)
units
16 I2C 28 QFN 10MHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 1.8 V
RS Stock No. 165-2079
Mfr. Part No.MCP23S08-E/ML
BrandMicrochip
HK$9.597
Each (In a Tube of 91)
units
8 Serial-SPI 20 QFN 10MHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 1.8 V
RS Stock No. 911-5631
Mfr. Part No.MCP23017-E/ML
BrandMicrochip
HK$11.14
Each (In a Tube of 61)
units
16 I2C 28 QFN 1.7MHz Surface Mount - -
RS Stock No. 190-7018
Mfr. Part No.MAX7312AUG+
HK$43.395
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
- Serial I2C - TSSOP - Surface Mount 5.5 V 2 V
RS Stock No. 770-9735
Mfr. Part No.MCP23S17-E/ML
BrandMicrochip
HK$14.647
Each (In a Pack of 3)
units
16 Serial-SPI 28 QFN 10MHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 1.8 V
RS Stock No. 177-2845
Mfr. Part No.MCP23008T-E/SO
BrandMicrochip
HK$7.371
Each (On a Reel of 1100)
units
8 I2C 18 SOIC 10MHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 1.8 V
RS Stock No. 177-2848
Mfr. Part No.MCP23017T-E/SS
BrandMicrochip
HK$8.988
Each (On a Reel of 2100)
units
16 I2C 28 SSOP 10MHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 1.8 V