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A pinout is a reference to the pins or contacts that connect an electrical device or connector. It describes the functions of transmitted signals and the circuit input/output (I/O) requirements. Each individual pin in a chip, connector or singular wire is defined in text, a table or a diagram.
A pin is typically a male connector, but in the definition of a pinout gender does not apply. There are also connectors that have only female sockets, which have documentation for contact to function.
Electrical connectors need to be specifically documented. Pinouts are an imperative reference when testing or constructing adapters, connectors or cables. Every connector must be properly mated to a connector that has the same function. This is to prevent dissimilar functions from interconnecting, which may result in damage to or failure of a component.
A pinout is a documentation of each pin that connects to a connector or component. A pinout generally has descriptions in a diagram or table, which specifically indicates whether it is the back-side or front-side view, or if it is the mating face of the connector. Pinout standards are commonly provided by the device or connector manufacturer. Most manufacturers use open standards that are regulated. Some pinouts, however, are specified through a third party because the manufacturer did not make detailed documentation.
Most connectors have data, ground and voltage pins. Depending on the connector, some also have a clock signal, horizontal sync, vertical sync, video display controller (VDC) and other features. There are various types of pinouts such as: