Single Board Computers; What Are They And Why You Should Care
The great thing about single-board computers is that they have all the capabilities of ordinary computers. They can read and write data, display output, run software and access the internet. The major advantage is that single board computers are very easy to use.
What’s a Single Board Computer?
Single-board computers (SBCs) are single-circuit-board computers with all the essential components of a complete, working computer. These small boards combine a microprocessor or microcontroller, memory, and input/output peripherals to enable users to create systems with a small footprint at a low cost. Single-board computers are used for various applications, including industrial controller design, robotics, IoT gateways and nodes, hobbyist designs, and more.
Designers can quickly build prototypes using SBCs. These platforms offer ease of use by eliminating the need for component selection, circuit board layout and other tasks that can be time-consuming and costly.
Single-board computers are available in many different form factors, from tiny to huge boards. All SBCs have some basic components in common:
- Processor – Typically, an ARM processor
- RAM – Usually 256MB to 512MB or more, depending on the device.
- Power input – for the power supply to be connected.
- USB ports – to connect devices.
- HDMI port – for audio/video output.
- MicroSD slot – for external storage.
- Ethernet port – For connection to local network
Benefits of Single Board Computers
Single-board computers are available with a wide range of features. You can easily choose one according to your specific needs. Their benefits include;
These computers have unique applications. Besides, there is no need for an extra processor. The memory and computational power are all included in the single-board computer. This way, users do not have to pick out the best processor for their needs on top of their other parts.
They are affordable
Also, a single-board computer is small and cheap because it does not require as many wires and boards as other computers do. And, there are open source operating systems that can be run with these single-board computers, such as Linux.
These computers are very low power, making them perfect for low-powered devices.
Come with a variety of applications
Single-board computers have a large variety of applications. One application would be artificial intelligence, such as self-driving cars. The other application would be internet of things (IoT) devices, such as smart refrigerators or smart locks. Furthermore, single board computers are often used in robots because they are miniature and low power.
Easy to use
Single-board computers are easy to use as they just need to connect to a display, keyboard and power supply. They offer a wide range of features and are relatively inexpensive. Popular boards include Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Odroid and Intel NUC.
Finally, single board computers are very useful. You can use them as a computer or as a tool for a variety of projects. They are used in industrial automation equipment, professional audio-video applications, robotics, and home automation.