What is Pitch

By Bester PCBA

Last Updated: 2023-08-01

What is Pitch

Pitch means the center-to-center distance between two adjacent features or traces on any layer of a printed circuit board. It is a crucial measurement that determines the spacing between these components and plays a significant role in PCB design and assembly. In PCB manufacturing, pitch is commonly used to describe the distance between the centers of adjacent holes, BGA (Ball Grid Array) pads, part connectors, or other SMD (Surface Mount Device) pads on a printed circuit board. This measurement is typically specified in millimeters or mils (thousandths of an inch) and is an essential consideration when designing a PCB layout.

The pitch size has implications for routing traces on a PCB, especially when dealing with ICs (Integrated Circuits) that come in different pitch sizes. For example, a 0.5mm pitch design would have approximately 19.7mil of space between solder balls from center-to-center. This spacing affects the available area for routing traces and the current-carrying capacity of those traces.

When routing traces with smaller pitch sizes, such as 0.4mm, the available space for trace routing becomes more limited. This can result in narrower trace widths and lower current-carrying capacity. The choice of copper thickness, such as 1oz or 2oz, also needs to be considered, as it can impact the final trace width after the etching and plating process. It is worth mentioning that for smaller-pitch designs, alternative options like laser microvias can be used to overcome the limitations of trace routing. These microvias provide additional routing options in tight spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Pitch in Electronics

The pitch of a connector refers to the measurement from the center of one pin to the center of the next pin. Understanding the pitch is crucial as it determines the compatibility of the connector with the cable or wire being connected.