I recently designed and built this DC-DC converter module for a college project:

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The PCB has these pins/ports:

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While preparing a datasheet for my project, I called them pins because they are male header pins.

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After thinking about it for a while, I'm not actually sure whether I should call these pins or ports. These pins/ports are used so that a microcontroller can measure the output voltage and current of the PSU with the help of an ADC and also enable/disable the PSU.

Should I call them ports because they are used to pass signals to an external device or pins because they are male header pins? I've tried googling this, but I've only found the definitions of pins and ports of a microcontroller.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It's only a nitpick issue… pins are the hardware components, port the 'logical ones'. Guess what? For BGAs we talk about balls, too. These are ports too. Don't worry unless there is risk of misunderstanding \$\endgroup\$ Jul 15, 2021 at 7:23

1 Answer 1


They are pins. A group of pins is a port.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I see. And since I'm describing the pins individually in my datasheet, it makes sense to retain the title 'Pin description', right? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 15, 2021 at 6:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes. The title "Pin Functions" is fine. \$\endgroup\$
    – JRE
    Jul 15, 2021 at 7:45

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