This device is an I2C driven IO expander. It is very handy if you have a restricted number of digital IO ports
to use. You can use 2 pins on your ESP8266 for example to read or write to 8 additional GPIO ports.
The number of ports can be cascaded up to a total of 64 input/outputs! Very handy
The modules are designed to be plugged in end to end.
An immediate use for me was to use it with my Raspberry Pi and wire up an LCD display.
Most of these use 8 pins to drive the display, so this was a perfect way to control the display
and not use up all my valuable IO pins.
The PCF8574 is a 8 bits I/O port expander that uses the I2C protocol.
That protocol communicates using a 2-wire serial interface, where one wire is a serial clock (SCL) and the other is for serial data (SDA).
With this module, you can use only 2 ports of your Arduino or Raspberry Pi board to control up to 8 digital I/O ports.
In the I2C protocol, each IC has a different address, in the case of PCF8574, you have a 3 bit address, which enable you to connect up to 8 modules, having 64 ports in total.
I found a pretty reasonable tutorial here if you need help in getting started with the module.
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