Overview

Nothing is as fast and fun as prototyping on a breadboard, but at some point you will find that the chips you want to work with are only available in non-breadboard-friendly SMT/SMD (Surface Mount Technology/Surface Mount Device). Unlike most DIP chips and resistors, SMT parts do not have the leads going through holes in the PCB. Instead, they 'float' on top, with often-rectangular solder pads.

Although you may one day decide to use CAD software for laying out a custom PCB for these parts, you can do yourself a favor and prototype with SMT breakout/adapter PCBs. In this mini tutorial we'll go over how to use these. It's not hard, once you have the experience!
This guide was first published on Mar 30, 2013. It was last updated on Sep 21, 2018. This page (Overview) was last updated on May 04, 2015.