General-purpose input/output (GPIO) is a generic pin on an integrated circuit whose behavior—including whether it is an input or output pin—is controllable by the user at run time.

GPIO pins have no predefined purpose, and go unused by default. The idea is that sometimes a system integrator who is building a full system might need a handful of additional digital control lines—and having these available from a chip avoids having to arrange additional circuitry to provide them. [Read more…]