What are Single Board Computers (SBC)?

 22 Dec, 2023


Computer technology has come leaps and bounds despite components looking very similar to the way they looked 20-30 years ago. Of all the components to choose from, single board computers (SBC) are becoming increasingly popular.

But what is a single board computer? What is it used for? Consider this a closer look into the world of single board computers and why you may want to grab one for your PC setup.

What is a Single Board Computer?

Single board computers, like the Okdo Rock 5, are exactly as they sound. They are complete computers that have been built onto a single circuit board. These boards include memory, a processor, storage, and even input/output capabilities. All in one compact computer board.

Computers have become a necessary part of life for business, the industrial world, and even gaming. Single board computers are best in spaces that are limited in size or where a full-size unit would be unnecessary or too expensive. They are often embedded, and not intended for general use. The uses include industrial controllers, thermostats, automotive infotainment systems, and much more.

Development Uses

Single board computers are also becoming a popular option for use as developmental boards. A developmental board has been designed exclusively for developing both hardware and software. These development boards are typically used by both hobbyists and engineers since they have a robust and versatile set of solutions available when testing new software or prototyping new ideas.

Single board computers have also become quite popular for hobbyists and makers. The biggest reasons are because they are both user-friendly and quite cost-effective. There is no power supply, case, or any other peripherals required. They also come with pre-loaded operating systems as well as software support, which makes them great for getting started on small projects and even coding.

Industrial Uses

One of the best uses of single board computers is in the industrial world. Because these units operate on a single board, they are ideal in tight spaces. Using the same kind of central processing unit, SBCs can provide a litany of benefits when talking about industrial applications.

Single board computers are used for embedded systems, primarily. These are designed to perform a single function while operating within a much larger system. For industrial purposes, that might mean working within an industrial controller that not only controls but monitors production equipment. For harsh environments like that, single board computers offer a plethora of benefits that make them more ideal than full-sized computers.

Benefits of a Single Board Computer

Because of their size and versatility, single board computers are proving to be beneficial. They are fantastic for harsh environments because they are resistant to both vibration and shock. They also generate less heat, which makes them even more ideal in those tougher, harsher environments.

Single board computers also have a long lifespan, longer than desktop computers. For a business, single board computers are must more cost-effective in the long term. They need to be replaced far less often and are cheaper than replacing an entire desktop computer. For businesses trying to keep overhead to a minimum, single board computers are a superior option.

Finally, they have a wide range of applications. Single board computers have been used mostly in industrial settings but they are being adopted in other areas. Security systems, military applications, and medical diagnosis are just a few of the ways in which single board computers are being implemented. Given their versatility and computing power, there is no telling how many more applications can benefit from the use of single board computers in the future.

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