Single Board Computers
Single board computers are extremely small form factor computers that can do everything a desktop or laptop can do, in a smaller shape. Commonly abbreviated SBC (Single board computer), these boards are typically PCB boards that can be expanded upon using other technologies, or simply put in a case and to be used in a special circumstance. SIngle board computers contain all the usual components you'd expect in a normal desktop such as CPUs, USBs, graphic chips and RAM. Although SBCs might not be as powerful as your laptop or computers, they certainly allow many more applications such as CCTV controllers, data loggers in harsher areas, educational tools and many more.
How do single board computers work?
SBCs work in exactly the way a typical computer works. However, sometimes the CPU might be substituted with an ARM-based processor for a more space-efficient and compatible board. All SBc boards some form of processing unit, user interfaces, RAM and other modules on them to allow you to fully customise and make your SBC, yours.
What software can I install on my SBC?
The majority of single board computers allow for any software to be installed on them. Linux is a very popular OS (Operating system) thanks to its command-line way of operating and ease of use. However, you can install anything onto SBCs providing the OS supports the board. The idea of single board computers is too allow many software for as many applications as you can design.
Single board computers can be used in many ways and in many harsh conditions providing the board has been designed for it. Listed below is some popular ways SBCs are used.
- Servers: Wheter it be a simple email servers, a media server or a website, these computers can help you with it all.
- Educational: Teach your students how to operate computers, how to code or even how to engineer applications. Since SBCs are three quarters the price of a typical computer, these make perfect sense for education.
- Emulation: Some computers can run applications that allow them to mimic old arcade games. Using a small form factor computer would help you design it into something handheld.
- Robots & Mechanical: Many single board computers can be the brains of robots or mechanical projects. You can use these thanks to their high-performance over conventional processing units and their low power consumption.