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MCP23017 Failing After Several Minutes?

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I just bought an MCP23017 port expander and hooked it up to my an Arduino card sample code . I used the to turn on four LEDs when the program launches. Works great, except that after several minutes all the LEDs switch off and won't come back on until I actually power down the entire card and plug it back in (hitting reset won't cut it). I've checked and rechecked and everything else looks fine. Is it possible I've got a bad I2C chip? Then how to test mcp23017?

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First of all, welcome to the forum.

Sounds like it could be thermal shutdown.  Are your LEDs current limited? Does the 23017 chip run hot before the LEDs turn off?  Does the total load (all four LEDs) exceed the package dissipation specification? 

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