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If you're looking for a simple way of controlling lots of LEDs, this is the IC for you. After seeing the HT16K33 being used in many of the LED backpack products from our supplier adafruit, customers have asked us to supply the bare IC - so here it is.
The HT16K33 is a memory mapping and multi-function LED controller driver. The maximum display segment numbers in the device is 128 patterns (16 segments and 8 commons) with a 13*3 (maximum) matrix key scan circuit. The software configuration features of the HT16K33 makes it suitable for multiple LED applications including LED modules and display subsystems. The HT16K33 is compatible with most microcontrollers and communicates via a two-line bidirectional I2C-bus.
You can easily drive one or two 8x8 LED matrices, or eight 7-segment LED displays - check out the backpacks to get some ideas. It's a 5V part so Raspberry Pi and other 3.3V board users will need a level converter. Coincidentally we happen to sell those as well.
Finally please note the package type is SOP-28 - it's a surface mount device. However we have the adapter pcb for the same which makes connection much easier or a SOIC to DIP adaptor to use the HT16K33 with your own circuitry or a solderless breadboard.