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What is single-board computer (SBC) your ultimate guide

A single board computer (SBC) is a complete computer system in which a microprocessor, memory and interface components are mounted on the same printed board. Although they are small, SBCs are powerful. Not only can they handle and compute complex tasks and data telemetry applications, but due to their small form factor, they fit into almost any embedded solution.This article will give a comprehensive introduction of single-board computer-types, advantages and disadvantages and how to choose.

Table of Contents

What is a single-board computer

A whole computer system known as a single-board computer (SBC) is built on a single printed circuit board (PCB). A CPU, memory, storage, and other essential components for a computer’s operation are frequently present. SBCs are suitable for a range of applications since they are built to be compact, affordable, and energy-efficient, including embedded systems, robots, IoT (Internet of Things) devices, educational tools, and do-it-yourself projects.

They frequently have input/output (I/O) ports, which let other devices communicate with them. Examples of these ports are USB, HDMI, Ethernet, and GPIO pins. For a range of computing needs in a compact size, SBCs offer a versatile and affordable option.

What is an example of a single-board computer

Examples of a single-board computer
Examples of a single-board computer

Single-board computers (SBCs) are available in a broad variety, each with their own characteristics and capabilities.

● Intel Jetson: Specially designed SBCs for AI and machine learning applications, these SBCs have powerful GPUs and hardware acceleration for deep learning tasks.

● Raspberry Pi: The Raspberry Pi, a brand of Single-board computers developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation and recognized for their adaptability and affordability, is one example of a popular Single-board computer variety. They are frequently used in media centers, IoT applications, and classroom settings.

● Beagle Bone: a collection of single-board computers with more advanced features, such as faster CPUs, additional I/O options, and real-time capabilities, perfect for applications with more demanding requirements.

● Arduino: Although it is a microcontroller platform technically, Arduino PCBs are commonly used as single-board computers for simple applications and prototyping, with an emphasis on embedded systems and physical computing.

These are but a handful of the several single-board computers models available, which may be used for a variety of purposes and needs.

What are the advantages and disadvantage of single-board computer

Advantages and disadvantage of single-board computer
Advantages and disadvantage of single-board computer

Single-Board Computers’ (SBCs) advantages

Single-Board Computers’ (SBCs) advantages include:

• Transportable and compact: Due to their diminutive size, SBCs may easily be incorporated into spaces with a small footprint.
• Low power usage: Because single-board computers are designed with energy economy in mind, they are suitable for embedded or battery-powered applications.
• Versatility: SBCs may be used for a wide range of applications, including media centers, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and educational tools.
• Community support: Many SBCs have a substantial and active community of users, programmers, and enthusiasts who offer thorough documentation, tutorials, and assistance.

Single-Board Computers (SBCs) disadvantages

Single-board computers disadvantages includes:

• Learning curve: Working with SBCs may need technical expertise, hardware development experience, and other abilities that non-technical users or novices may find difficult to learn.
• Limited expandability: Due to the SBCs’ limited expansion options for adding additional hardware components, its scalability for specific applications may be hindered.
• Lack of standardization: Because there are several SBC models available with various specifications, form factors, and interfaces, it may be challenging to choose the ideal one for a particular project.
• Performance restrictions: SBCs occasionally have less processing power, memory, and storage than conventional computers, which may have an impact on how well they perform demanding tasks.

It is essential to consider these advantages and disadvantages while selecting a single-board computer that corresponds to the unique requirements of the project.

Why use a single-board computer

The community support, portability, efficiency, and adaptability of single-board computers (SBCs) make them popular. They offer cost-efficient and room-saving computing solutions, making them perfect for a wide range of projects. Media centers, embedded systems, Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets, instructional tools, prototyping, and more are a few examples of the uses they are best suited for.

What are the applications of single-board computer

Applications of single-board computer
Applications of single-board computer

Single-board computers (SBCs) have a wide range of applications, including:

► IoT Devices: SBCs may provide electricity to IoT devices including wearable electronics, smart home controls, and environmental sensors.

► Media Centers: SBCs may be used to build media centers for multimedia playback, streaming, and gaming.

► Scientific Research: SBCs are utilized in a variety of scientific domains for instrument control, data processing, and data gathering.

These are just a few instances of the many distinct uses for SBCs, illustrating its flexibility to many use cases across various sectors.

How are single-board computer made

Electronic components installed on a single printed circuit board (PCB) are frequently used in the design and fabrication of single-board computers. Designing the PCB layout, choosing and soldering electronic components including microprocessors, memory, storage, and I/O interfaces onto the PCB, testing the finished result, and putting it all together are the steps in the process. While some SBCs are created by major enterprises, others are created by tiny businesses or open-source communities.

What is single-board computer vs SoM

System-on-Module (SoM), however, is an alternative idea. An entire computer system, comprising a CPU, memory, storage, and other components, is contained on a single tiny form factor module. Because SoM is made to be inserted into a carrier board that offers the required I/O ports and other peripherals, system design may be more adaptable and scalable. While Single-board computers are independent single-board computers with all essential components incorporated into a single PCB, SoM offers a modular way to construct embedded systems.

How do I choose a single board computer

How do I choose a single board computer
How do I choose a single board computer

Given the abundance of possibilities, selecting a single-board computer might be challenging. The following actions will assist you in reaching an informed decision:

► Set forth your specifications: Take into account your goals for the single-board computer. Are you searching for a basic board for easy do-it-yourself projects or a more potent SBC for difficult applications like robotics or multimedia? Depending on your requirements, consider elements like processing speed, memory, connectivity options, form factor, and operating system compatibility.

► Future scalability: Think about how the single-board computer may be expanded and scaled, especially if you intend to upgrade or grow your project in the future. Examine the number of expansion ports, GPIO pins, and compatible add-on boards or modules that may be required for upcoming upgrades.

► Investigate your options: There are many single-board computers on the market, including the Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Beagle Bone, and Intel NUC, to mention a few. Find the SBC that best satisfies your needs by investigating and contrasting the features, costs, and specifications of several single-board computers.

► Think about community support: Working with single-board computers can benefit from documentation and community support. Think about whether there are any online discussion boards, manuals, tutorials, or user communities dedicated to the SBC you’re interested in. Strong community support can be helpful for project resource discovery, support, and troubleshooting.

You can choose a single-board computer that best suits your unique needs and project requirements by considering these variables.

Is a motherboard a single-board computer

Is a motherboard a single-board computer
Is a motherboard a single-board computer

A single-board computer is not a motherboard. A desktop or laptop computer’s motherboard is a printed circuit board that links numerous hardware parts, including the CPU, memory, storage, and I/O ports. An single-board computer, on the other hand, is a standalone computing solution that consists of a complete computer system built into a single PCB, including the CPU, memory, storage, and I/O interfaces.


In conclusion, single-board computer, also known as SBC, offers adaptable computing solutions that are both cost-effective and compact. Specifications, user requirements, and community support are all important aspects to consider when deciding which SBC is the best. SBCs are still employed in a variety of industries, including the do-it-yourself (DIY) community, due of their adaptability and flexibility.


A whole computer system known as a single-board computer (SBC) is built on a single printed circuit board (PCB). A CPU, memory, storage, and other essential components for a computer's operation are frequently present.

IoT Devices
Media Centers
Scientific Research
Smart Home
Network Monitoring
Image Recognition

A single-board computer (SBC) is not a motherboard.

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