This version of the LED backpack is designed for these big bright 7-segment displays. These 7-segment displays normally require 13 pins (5 'characters' and 8 total segments each) This backpack solves the annoyance of using 13 pins or a bunch of chips by having an I2C constant-current matrix controller sit neatly on the back of the PCB. The controller chip takes care of everything, drawing all the LEDs in the background. All you have to do is write data to it using the 2-pin I2C interface. There are three address select pins so you can select one of 8 addresses to control up to 8 of these on a single 2-pin I2C bus (as well as whatever other I2C chips or sensors you like). The driver chip can 'dim' the entire display from 1/16 brightness up to full brightness in 1/16th steps. It cannot dim individual LEDs, only the entire display at once.
To get you going fast, we have revised this popular board to be the same size and pinout as before but now with two STEMMA QT connectors on either side that are compatible with the SparkFun Qwiic I2C connectors. This allows you to make solderless connections between your development board and the HT16K33 or to chain it with a wide range of other sensors and accessories using a compatible cable.