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I/O Explorer USB: Based on AVR Microcontrollers (RETIRED)

This product has been retired and is no longer for sale.

I/O Explorer USB: Based on AVR Microcontrollers (RETIRED)

This product has been retired and is no longer for sale.

Product Description

The Digilent I/O Explorer USB is a USB peripheral device that allows programmatic access from a personal computer to various external Input/Output (I/O) devices. 

Using the Digilent Adept Software Developer's Kit (SDK) and the Digilent Adept Runtime System it is possible to write application programs running under either the Microsoft® Windows® or Linux® operating systems that perform various kinds of I/O operations to devices on the I/O Explorer board itself, or through the I/O Explorer to devices external to the computer. 

The I/O Explorer provides a number of I/O devices on the board itself, as well as RC servo connectors, and Digilent Pmod ports that allow access to devices external to the I/O Explorer. 

In addition to its use as a dedicated USB peripheral device, the I/O Explorer can also be used as a microcontroller development board. It features two Atmel® AVR microcontrollers, one having USB device capability. Digilent makes available the firmware images needed to restore it to the factory configuration as a USB peripheral device if it has been reprogrammed with user defined firmware. 

Support Materials

Datasheet (PDF) Schematics (PDF)

For all other material:

Resource Center


The I/O Explorer USB is a legacy product and is no longer supported by Xilinx's newer tool sets. As a result we will no longer be producing the board, and once current stock is depleted there will be no more. If you need help finding a replacement product, please visit Digilent's forum.

There are two UART signal pin assignment conventions in use on Digilent products. This product uses the old signal assignment convention. Connecting a product using the old convention with one using the new convention requires the use of a Digilent Pmod Crossover Cable (not included). Click here for a more detailed explanation.


Processor/IC: Atmel® ATmega165P AT90USB646


  • USB Port
  • 5 x 12-pin Pmod ports
  • 1 x 6-pin Pmod port
  • 8 x R/C servo connectors
  • SPI master port
  • UART interface port

Programming: Digilent USB2 port providing board power, programming, and data transfers


  • AT90USB646 and ATmega165P AVR microcontrollers by Atmel
  • SPI and UART ports
  • Four 12-bit D/A outputs and two 10-bit A/D inputs
  • 52 digital I/O pins
  • USB 2.0 Full Speed device
  • Multiple power supply options, including USB-powered
  • Five 12-pin Pmod ports and one 6-pin Pmod port
  • Sixteen discrete LEDs, eight slide switches, four pushbuttons, 4-position DIP switch, two rotary encoders with integral pushbutton, speaker/buzzer, eight R/C servo connectors
  • C/C++/C#/Visual Basic callable API set using the Digilent Adept System Software Developer's Kit (SDK)
  • Fully software compatible with the Digilent Adept Runtime system
  • ESD protection and short circuit protection for all I/O pins



  • Digilent I/O Explorer USB
  • Custom hardshell plastic case with protective foam inserts
  • One retractable micro USB cable

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