Extended I/O system in Raspberry Pi
To connect the Raspberry Pi to the external electronics, we use transition boards, in the form of a PCB, equipped with additional tracks and goldpins, responsible for connecting their own elements above the device board. One track is assigned to one connector pin. Sometimes, however, the board is already equipped with AWG tape, which on the other hand has female IDC40 plugs. It is thanks to this tape that we can connect Raspberry Pi to our own board, which does not necessarily need to be located directly above the computer, but nearby. This is what distinguishes AWG tapes from most Raspberry Pi HAT overlays. It happens, however, that the number of GPIO lines in the Raspberry Pi connector is too small for us, which means that we can't connect as many peripheral devices as we planned and need to do in order to complete the project or create a device that will be compatible with our plans and needs. In such cases we use output expanders. What is their purpose?
Output expanders are dedicated for integrated circuits that use a serial interface such as SPI and I2C to expand the input/output network. This way we gain additional lines, which were previously missing from the original connector. This is how Waveshare Serial Expansion HAT works, for instance. This is one of the overlays for the Raspberry Pi microcomputer, which contains SC16IS752 chip. Using the Waveshare Serial Expansion HAT overlay, we are definitely extending the capabilities of our computer. This way we gain two additional UART interfaces, as well as eight GPIO lines. These are configured via the I2C bus. The output expanders are used very often when planning a large project and a very complex device. They allow the Raspberry Pi to be used with virtually no limitations. The extensive layout of the outputs creates unlimited possibilities for the most ambitious projects.
What will make your Raspberry even more powerful?
If you are not fully satisfied with the current state of your Raspberry, have a look at our store and see how you can further enhance its capabilities. You'll find everything you need to enable it to do even more for you. We offer both simple GPIO lines as well as expanders with many useful features. These allow you to use an additional 16-bit analog-to-digital converter as well as four additional USB ports. You also get the chance to use a set of relays to control high loads at higher voltages. Check what we have prepared for you and your Raspberry. Discover that there is even more to it than before. Create a new project, even more advanced and challenging!