SMT Protoboard Compendium - An Ongoing Project

SMT Prototype Board Compendium

teaserMany chips are only available in surface mount (SMT) packages and they are getting ever smaller as the drive towards miniaturization continues.  This makes it tough to experiment with the parts on a bread board.  Fortunately, they are a variety of adapter boards that make experimenting with these devices easier.  One of the challenges is finding a suitable board when you find a chip you want to use available in only some tiny package.  This article is meant to be a reference to find different boards.  As adapters or proto-boards come and go, this reference will evolve.

I've included a tiny fraction of the available boards here - I know there are many others.  I need your help to list different boards.  Please send me information about boards you may find.  Also, to continue this effort, I have to know that people are looking at the information and using it; your comments are not only welcome but are essential to continuing this project!

 

This list covers only generic SMT adapter boards.  Boards for a specific part, usually called breakout boards, won't be covered here.  Nor will boards for an entire circuit such as an Arduino board.  Not that these boards don't deserve a similar list, but this isn't the place

Just to head off the comments... yes, using iTead or Seeed or some of the similar PCB fab houses, it's certainly possible to lay out and fab your own adapters.  I agree that this is the way to get what you want, but many people don't want to go to the trouble nor do they have the tools to do so.

The boards shown here have 3 basic styles:

  1. Bare-bones chip to DIP adapter that can be plugged into a bread board
  2. Small boards supporting the main chip plus a few support components
  3. Larger boards supporting a variety of packages with prototyping room for other components

Some of these may work better than others depending on what you're doing.

Watch for updates and please participate to make this a great reference source.

1. Microchip

 

TSSOP-20
SSOP-20

20-Pin TSSOP and SSOP Evaluation Board


Part Number: TSSOP20EV

Cost: US$10 for 5 boards

Devices Supported: TSSOP-20/16/14/8 and SSOP-20

Summary Description:

The 20-Pin TSSOP and SSOP Evaluation Board allows the system designer to quickly evaluate the operation of Microchip Technology’s devices in any of the following 20-pin packages: TSSOP-20/16/14/8 and SSOP-20.

The board has a 6-pin header (PICkit Serial, ICSP, etc.) that can be easily jumpered to the device’s desired pins to communicate with the device (using PICkit Serial) or in the case of PIC microcontrollers or EEPROM, programmed (using ICSP).

The board also has footprints for a crystal circuit (for PIC microcontrollers) This board is generic so that any device, of the appropriate footprint, may be installed.

As well as the device, other desired passive components (resistors and capacitors) and connection posts may be installed. This allows the board to evaluate a minimum configuration for the device. Also, this allows the device to be easily jumpered into an existing system.

This Kit Contains:
  • Five (5) Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) per kit, The PCB size is ~ 99 mm x 53 mm
Features:
  • Connection terminals may be either through-hole or surface-mount
  • Two package type footprints supported - TSSOP and SSOP
  • Footprints for optional passive components on each pin

Footprints for PIC microcontroller crystal circuit

  • PICkit Serial Analyzer / PICkit 2 Programming (ICSP) Header
  • Silk-screen area to write specifics of implemented circuit
Microchip 1



2. Microchip

 

8-Pin SOIC
8-Pin MSOP
8-Pin TSSOP
8-Pin DIP

8-Pin SOIC/MSOP/TSSOP/DIP Evaluation Board


Part Number: SOIC8EV

Cost: $10 for 5 boards


Devices Supported: Four 8-pin package types: SOIC, MSOP, TSSOP, DIP

Summary Description:

This is a blank PCB that allows the operation of Microchip Technology’s 8-pin devices to be easily evaluated. Each device pin is connected to a pull-up resistor, a pull-down resistor, an in-line resistor, and a loading capacitor. The PCB pads allow through hole or surface mount connectors to be installed to ease connection to the board. Additional passive component footprints are on the board, to allow simple circuits to be implemented.

Features:

    • Supports four 8-pin package types:
      • SOIC
      • MSOP
      • TSSOP
      • DIP
      • Each device pin has footprint for an optional:
        • Pull-up resistor
        • Pull-down resistor
        • In-line resistor
        • Loading capacitor
        • Footprint for optional device and power supply filtering capacitors
        • Footprint for four optional passive components that can be easily jumpered to create simple test circuits
        • PCB Pads to connect to each device pin plus VDD and VSS
        Microchip 2 



        3. Texas Instruments

         

        SOIC8
        TSSOP8
        MSOP8
        SOT23-6
        SOT23-5
        SOT23-3
        SC70-6
        SC70-5
        SOT563-6

        DIP Adapter Evaluation Module

        Part Number: DIP-ADAPTER-EVM

        Cost: US$10 for a set of 6 adapter boards for each of 6 types of SMT packages

        Description:

        DIP-Adapter-EVM provides an easy, low cost way to prototype small surface mount IC’s. Supports these TI packages: D or U(SOIC-8), PW(TSSOP-8), DGK(MSOP-8), DBV(SOT23-6, SOT23-5 and SOT23-3), DCK(SC70-6 and SC70-5) and DRL(SOT563-6). May be used with terminal strips (Samtec TS-132-G-AA recommended) or may be wired directly to existing circuits.

         
        Features
        • Simplifies prototyping of SMT IC’s
        • Supports 6 common package types
        • Low Cost
        What's Included

        Two (2) Terminal Strips (Samtec Part Number TS-132-G-AA)

          TI 1



        4. Elecrow

         

        TQFP32
        TQFP48
        TQFP64
        SOP8
        SMT16
        SMT28
        QSOP28
        QSOP28
        WSO28

        TQFP32/TQFP48/TQFP64/SOP8/SMT16/SMT28/QSOP28 Breakout Board

        Model: PBO10101B

        Price: $6.00

        This multi-purpose Breakout Board can change TQFP32/TQFP48/TQFP64/SOP8/SMT16/SMT28/QSOP28/QSOP28/WSO28 footprint IC into DIP breakout, then you can use then in prototype board or bread board. It compatible with 16pins to 64 pins of TQFP, SOP, SMT, QSOP and WSO. Single side, the dimension is 90 * 110 * 1.6mm.

        Specifications


        Footprint TQFP32 TQFP48 TQFP64 SOP8 SMT16 SMT28 QSOP28 WSO28
        Pitch(mm) 0.8 0.5 0.5 1.27 1.27 0.65 0.5 1.27
        Elecrow 1 



        5. Elecrow

         

        SSOP20 - SSOP28 - 0.6 mm Pitch
        STM20-STM28- 1.27 mm Pitch

        SSOP28 To DIP28 Breakout Board - 0.65mm

        Model: PBO20101B

        Price: $1.00

        This Breakout Board can change SSOP20-28/STM20-28 footprint IC into DIP breakout, then you can use then in prototype board or bread board. Double side, one is 1.27mm pitch for STM20-28 pins, the other one is 0.6mm pitch for SSOP20-28.

        Specification

        • Dimension: 38 * 19 * 1.6mm
        Elecrow 2



        6. Elecrow

         

        SOT-89
        SOT23
        SOT-25
        SOP-24
        SOP-8
        MSOP-8
        MSOP-10

        SOT-89/SOT23/SOT-25/SOP-24/SOP-8/MSOP-8/MSOP-10 Breakout Board

        Model: PBO10201B

        Price: $6.50

        This multi-purpose Breakout Board can change SOT89/SOT23/SOT25/SOP24/SOT8/MSOP8/MSOP10 footprint IC into DIP breakout, then you can use then in prototype board or bread board. Single side, the dimension is 71 * 112 * 1.6mm.
        Elecrow 3




         

        7. Elecrow
         TQFP64 - 0.8mm Pitch

        TQFP64 Breakout Board - 0.8mm

        Model: PBO20201B
         
        Price: $3.50
         
        This Breakout Board can change TQFP64 footprint IC into DIP breakout, then you can use then in prototype board or bread board.

        Specification

        • Dimension: 38 * 38 * 1.6mm
        Elecrow 4 



        8.  ElecFreaks Studio

         

        Oddly shaped boards are available in several configurations.  Pads are included for additional small components.
        SSOP20
        SSOP28

        Square SSOP20/SSOP28 to DIP Adapter

        Model: PAT007,  Price: US$ 0.66,  Dimension: 46 x 46 mm
        SOL-28
        SO-28

        Square SOL/SO-28 to DIP Adapter

        Model: PAT014, Price: US$ 0.66, Dimension:47 x 47 mm

          EF 2
        (Typical Board)



        9.  ElecFreaks Studio

         

        Round boards are available in several configurations.  Pads are included for additional small components.
        SSOP-20
        SSOP-28

        Round SSOP20/SSOP28 to DIP Adapter

        Model: PAT008, Diameter: 24.5mm, Price: US $0.66
        SOL-28
        SO-28

        Round SOL/SO-28 to DIP Adapter

        Model: PAT009, Diameter: 36.5mm, Price: US $0.66     

        TQFP-44
        LQFP-32

        Round TQFP-44 LQFP-32 to DIP Adapter

        Model: PAT010, Diameter: 36.5mm, Price: US $0.66 
        TQFP-64
        LQFP-48

        Round TQFP-64 LQFP-48 to DIP Adapter

        Model: PAT011, Diameter: 37.5mm, Price: US $0.66

        PLCC32
        PLCC44

        Round PLCC32 PLCC44 to DIP Adapter

        Model: PAT012, Diameter: 37.5mm, Price: US $0.66

        EF 1
        (Typical Board)



        10. ElecFreaks Studio

         

        QFN  16-80 pins
        QFP
        TQFP
        LQFP

        QFN/QFP/TQFP/LQFP 16-80 to DIP Adapter

        Model: PAT001

        Price: US$4.50

        Description

        QFN/QFP/TQFP/LQFP 16-80 pins to DIP Adapter/ Breakout Board. Double side FR-4PCB design which could compatible with more QFP IC.

        One side is 16-80pin to DIP at 0.5mm pitch.

        The other side is 40-64pin to DIP at 0.4mm pitch and 0.65mm pitch for 80pin.

         

        EF 3 



        11. ElecFreaks Studio

         

         SOP32 - 1.25mm Pitch

        SOP32 to DIP32 Adapter(1.25mm pitch)

        Model: PAT002

        Price: US$1.00

        Description

        Scope: SOP to DIP(2.54mm) → Max 32 Pin.

        Pin on both sides of the adapter board width 800mil (2.032cm) and SOP pin's pitch is 1.25mm.

        Dimension: 23 x 41 x 1.6 mm
         

         

        EF 4 



        12. ElecFreaks Studio

         

         TSOP48 - 0.5mm pitch

        TSOP48 to DIP48 Adapter (0.5mm pitch)

        Model: PAT003

        Price: US$1.00

        Description

        TSOP48 to DIP48 with 0.5mm pitch adapter board.

        Dimension:39 x 62 x 1.6 mm .
         

         

        EF 5



        13. ElecFreaks Studio

         

        QFP32 - 0.8mm Pitch
        QFP44
        QFP64

        QFP32/44/64 to DIP Adapter (0.8mm pitch)

        Model: PAT004

        Price: US$2.00

        Description

        QFP32/44/64 to DIP 0.8mm pitch adapter board. Suitable for ATmage and C8051F series.

        Color: Blue

        Dimension: 42 x 42 x 1.6 mm

         

        EF 6 



        14. ElecFreaks Studio

         

         

         QFP64 - 0.5mm Pitch

        QFP64 to DIP64 Adapter (0.5mm pitch)

        Model: PAT005

        Price: US$2.00

        Description

        QFP32/44/64 to DIP 0.5mm pitch adapter board.

        Color: Blue

        Dimension: 42 x 42 x 1.6 mm

         

        EF 7





        Vendor

         

         Devices Description
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        Vendor

         

         Devices Description
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        Vendor

         

         Devices Description
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        Posted: 4 years 8 months ago by Jon Chandler #13109
        Jon Chandler's Avatar

        I can't believe over 200 people have read this article and there hasn't been a single comment.

        I know there are other sources with interesting prototyping boards - I just haven't found them yet. But since no one can even spend a minute commenting, I can find better things to do than taking more of my time to post them here. Perhaps nobody does any experimenting/prototyping on their own?

        I apologize for making this rant, but Digital-DIY is a place for sharing ideas and information as well as asking questions and sharing cool projects. A few comments and some participation will make for an interesting site.
        Posted: 4 years 8 months ago by majenko #13112
        majenko's Avatar
        Take a chill pill, man.

        It's easter. People are on holiday. How many of those 200 reads are by other than search engines and people buzzing past that found it in search results?
        Posted: 4 years 8 months ago by RangerBob #13120
        RangerBob's Avatar
        Sorry Jon,

        Easter man. Four precious days off from work, internet and worries!

        I was up to my eyeballs at home converting my precious "study" (I.E. Place to hide from the kids and fiddle about with my pet projects) into a playroom for the kids.

        Good list though. A system I have used before that should go on the list are Schmartboards. They have a wide range of available options, even offering BGA prototyping!

        I must admit I fall into the camp now that if I need to prototype a SMT design I tend to knock a quick design out in eagle and send it off to Seeed on their $10 fusion service. Very little of what I do needs to be done *quickly*.
        Posted: 4 years 8 months ago by Jon Chandler #13121
        Jon Chandler's Avatar
        I must admit I fall into the camp now that if I need to prototype a SMT design I tend to knock a quick design out in eagle and send it off to Seeed on their $10 fusion service. Very little of what I do needs to be done *quickly*.


        Thanks for the feedback and input. Enjoy the new study!

        You do make an excellent point about Seeed, iTead, and recent newcomers Elecrow and ELEC Freaks. The downside as you say is the shipping time unless you're willing to pay for expedited shipping (which still makes their prices incredible!).

        The two new guys offer the same deals at the same prices as iTead and Seeed with the only change being that soldermask colors are free. I don't know if these companies are in any way related but their prices are virtually identical, the board sizes offered are the same and the ordering software is almost identical.

        I have a board on the way from Elecrow so I'll be able to compare the quality of boards. I wanted to try a colored board, but red seems kind of overdone, blue screams Arduino, yellow sounded like an interesting choice but my partner hates the color, leaving white or black as the options. I decided to try black, which is only offered at Elecrow, so they were my choice
        Posted: 4 years 8 months ago by RangerBob #13122
        RangerBob's Avatar
        Black boards look great, but I find any type of rework very difficult as you can't easily see where the traces run!

        Will look into those two new ones, although I'm happy with Seeed Fusion. Any feedback you have on them gratefully received!

        My study is now bright pink and blue and filled with toys (not my toys, anyway)!
        Posted: 4 years 8 months ago by Jon Chandler #13123
        Jon Chandler's Avatar
        Yeah, I have heard that black boards can be a pain to work with but this board is pretty simple. I think I'm partial to green but I wanted to try something different.

        Elecrow was good about providing info via email as the board progressed through the steps.

        The board is kind of a strange thing. We replaced the stock radio in a General Motors car with a pretty cool Pioneer "entertainment system" that uses an iPhone for most of its brains. The radio has a touch screen that interfaces to the apps on the phone. The problem is that the stock radio has a circuit to take the variable voltage for dimming the instrument panel lights, converting it to a PWM signal that controls the brightness of OTHER vacu-flourescent displays on the dashboard. Fortunately, those displays are at max brightness without the PWM signal, but they can be a bit bright at night.

        So the board will measure the voltage on the dim circuit and convert it to a PWM signal to control the displays. Some people have left the stock radio connected in the trunk (boot?) of the car just to get this dimming signal. Some people have used a 555 circuit to accomplish the same thing. Sadly, few deals of exactly what's needed are available.
        Posted: 4 years 8 months ago by lespic #13137
        lespic's Avatar
        Sorry Jon, I viewed and went to investigate what was available this side of the pond ... not a lot, I have a nice Olimex board and i was going to post a picture, it has smt and leds and switches but its a shield for UNO not quite the same,in the past I found the Microchip bare 44 pin development boards useful (I had a package 1 populated 2 bare) I guess PDIP will eventually fade away so my breadboarding and stripboard prototypes will get difficult, perhaps the BB manufacturers could add some smt pads / perhaps a plug-in smt slot system would be good. The Elecrow TQFP64 footprint IC DIP breakout above would be a problem pushed directly in to the usual BB layout ?, but would suit the Tri-pad board I use.

        But they want $13 shipping would have to pay tax here, so just ordered above from Paris France
        4 for £13 ..
        Posted: 4 years 8 months ago by Jon Chandler #13138
        Jon Chandler's Avatar
        The boards with a square arrangement and dual-row headers are definitely not breadboard friendly. I guess it's not really practical to make a board in a DIP arrangement for packages with large numbers of pins. I wouldn't want to build a much of a circuit with an 80 pin package on a bread board anyway! My breadboarded circuits aren't pretty.
        Posted: 4 years 3 months ago by schmartboard #13435
        schmartboard's Avatar
        FULL DISCLOSURE--I work for Schmartboard. Schmartboard is unique. We make it easy to hand solder SMT parts with a patented technology.
        http://www.schmartboard.com

        Here for example is a .4mm pitch, 88 lead QFN board:
        http://www.schmartboard.com/index.asp?page=schmartland_samples
        Posted: 4 years 3 months ago by be80be #13439
        be80be's Avatar
        Those look great I wish I would of seen them back when i was playing with the pic32.
        Thanks for posting the sample link.

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