A personal computer will have a number of circuit boards, connectors, and driver circuits but in the case of a single-board computer, it will have a single circuit board in which memory, input and output, and the microprocessor will be there. These sbc computers reduce the cost of the system as there won’t be any need for extra circuit boards and driver circuits.
These computers are self-contained and hence their build is very different from that of standard desktop and personal computers. A single-board computer’s size varies from the size of a credit card to the size of a video game console.
Need for single-board computers
People might show interest in single-board computers because of their easy portability. It is very easy to carry them like smartphones everywhere they go. They need very less power and are very easy to use when compared to normal traditional computers.
The main reason why people opt for these sbc computers is that they are cost-effective. As they are low-cost many people belonging to various communities can try using these computers.
Difference between Micro-Controller and Single Board Computer
Micro-controllers have many features that are similar to that of sbc computers. But Microcontrollers don’t have all the resources that a single board computer has.
- Microcontrollers have storage in KBs instead of MBs, GBs that are done in Single Board Computers.
- The processing capabilities in these are also very limited.
- Many microcontrollers need breakout boards for easy programming.
- These microcontrollers cannot run more than one program at a time. Instead, they loop one routine.
- SBCs are computers. They have an operating system and can run multiple tasks at a time, unlike microcontrollers.
Uses of Single Board Computers
- These computers are mostly used in embedded applications. This is because usually embedded applications will not require to expand and contain only the input and output functionality that is required for the task it is supposed to perform.
- In many cases, they are plugged into a backplane. This allows the input and output devices to get attached to the computer.
Specifications of a single board Computer
- They should have input and output interfaces that go well with audio, networking, and wireless applications.
- The plus with these computers is that there will be an expansion slot for a few computers that can allow the user to expand as these computers will come with a single board usually.
- Most of the specifications of single-board computers are the same as desktop computers.
- These specifications have to be taken into notice before purchasing a single board computer.
○ The type of processor used
○ The clock speed on the front side
○ Processor clock speed
○ The memory that the computer can store and support
The performance of these SBCs is not that great as compared to the desktop versions. But with the ongoing developments, there is considerable growth. The expansion slots of these single board computers are also increasing with the increase in demand.
These computers are differently designed when compared to traditional computers. They will have all the elements that are there in the normal computer but the only difference is that they are all embedded on a single circuit board. Hence it is very easy to carry this like a smartphone.