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 Priced to Clear
RS Stock No. 189-7053
Mfr. Part No.MAX7312ATG+
£2.93
Each (In a Tube of 75)
Units
16 Serial-2 Wire 24 TQFN 400kHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 2 V -
RS Stock No. 177-2846
Mfr. Part No.MCP23017T-E/ML
BrandMicrochip
£0.856
Each (On a Reel of 1600)
Units
16 I2C 28 QFN 10MHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 1.8 V -
RS Stock No. 190-7042
Mfr. Part No.MAX7300AAI+
£4.695
Each (In a Pack of 2)
Units
- Serial I2C - SSOP - Surface Mount 5.5 V 2.5 V -
RS Stock No. 923-7810
Mfr. Part No.MAX7311AWG+
£3.518
Each (In a Tube of 30)
Units
16 Serial-2 Wire 24 SOIC 400kHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 2 V -
RS Stock No. 190-7024
Mfr. Part No.DS4520E+
£2.256
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
- Serial I2C - TSSOP - Surface Mount 5.5 V 2.7 V -
RS Stock No. 190-7057
Mfr. Part No.MAX7321ATE+
£1.936
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
- - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 177-2845
Mfr. Part No.MCP23008T-E/SO
BrandMicrochip
£0.625
Each (On a Reel of 1100)
Units
8 I2C 18 SOIC 10MHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 1.8 V -
RS Stock No. 812-2666
Mfr. Part No.PCA9534PW
£1.55
Each
Units
8 I2C 16 TSSOP 400kHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 2.3 V -
RS Stock No. 190-6115
Mfr. Part No.MAX7321ATE+
£1.17
Each (In a Tube of 100)
Units
8 Serial I2C 16 TQFN 400kHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 1.71 V -
RS Stock No. 190-6114
Mfr. Part No.MAX7318AUG+
£2.77
Each (In a Tube of 62)
Units
16 Serial I2C 24 TSSOP 400kHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 2 V -
RS Stock No. 190-6113
Mfr. Part No.MAX7312AUG+
£3.13
Each (In a Tube of 62)
Units
16 Serial I2C 24 TSSOP 400kHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 2 V -
RS Stock No. 191-3756
Mfr. Part No.DS2482S-800+T&R
£5.76
Each
Units
8 I2C 16 SO 400kHz Surface Mount 5.5 V 4.5 V -