I am very new to Raspberry pi, especially electrical components. And when I am working with hooking up a digital LED light strips, I am planning to plug it into a 16 channel PWM/Servo hat. But I stumbled into these two similar things (Hat, and a driver). My question is what is actually the difference between a Servo Hat and Servo driver. As you can see from the item description below: https://www.adafruit.com/products/815 https://www.adafruit.com/products/2327

After looking at the description, it seems like they are offering the same functionalities (Serving 16 channels of 12-bit PWM output), but I am just wondering what would be the difference besides the placement of the hat and driver.


3 Answers 3


In HAT you have everything ready to work - plug and play - you put it into your GPIO port and you're done... less work, but takes more place, and it's less customizable. Driver is like hat without any pins soldered... and probably smaller, as it doesn't need additional space for connectors. You got to solder it yourself... or connect via cables (that have to be soldered too).

Both components do the same job.


Hat is hust "mounted over the head" =) a "hat" is any pc-104-like mounted piece of breadboard. The "driver" is a functionality name.


Functionally there is no difference.

In effect they just wrap up a PCA9685 into a convenient form. You need to decide what is more suitable for your expected usage.

Rather less expensive version at http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/272090561637

The Pi can provide pretty much the same PWM without additional hardware, e.g. my pigpio library.

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