I am working on a project and I'll be requiring over 1000 GPIO pins. Is it possible to get a extension of pins on Raspberry pi?

My project is pretty complex but here's the basic idea -

I'll be having a 40 x 25 array of motors. I need to control each motor independently. To control each motor, I need many GPIO pins.

I'm not restricting my choice to Raspberry Pi and any hardware can work for me.

  • I'm actually curious if this is even remotely practical or possible. Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 4:52
  • Why not? I can make this possible using multiple mircontrollers. I just wanted to look for a more cost efficient way. Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 4:54
  • 3
    It might be better if you explained a little about your project as there may be a better way. Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 4:55
  • @CarlosSlim Look into the Compute Module and the Compute Module IO Board Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 4:59
  • @SteveRobillard I have modified the question. Please have a look at it. Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 6:54

2 Answers 2


Adafruit have this comment on their 16 channel PWM/servo shield:

Using only two I2C pins, control 16 free-running PWM outputs! You can even stack up 62 shields to control up to 992 PWM outputs (which we would really like to see since it would be glorious and like 4 feet tall)

Although buying 62 shields would run you $1085 dollars. Not exactly a cheap option, but apparently workable.


You can use up to 8 MCP23017 to give 128 pins. I have never actually done this, as I find it hard to conceive a project that would require so many - and which couldn't be managed in a better way

  • ...and 8 MCP23S17 on SPI (it may actually be 8 per SPI channel and if you do your own slave select that would be over 2500 GPIO).
    – joan
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 6:39

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