Since the dawn of computers, several forms of computers have emerged and revolutionized the computing world. Besides, developers have continually tried to make these computers smaller but effective and efficient. This has given rise to different forms of computing devices, including laptops and smartphones. For this reason, single board computers have become popular among computer users because of their diverse range of uses.
What are SBCs?
Typically, these are complete, functioning computers comprising a microprocessor, I/O functions, memory, and other features making up a computer system, built on a single circuit board. They also come with a built-in RAM, often with a predetermined amount but without expansion slots for peripherals. These simple single board units are considered unique in terms of several configurations offered by existing personal computers.
However, the simplicity accompanied leads to dependability, making SBCs suitable as embedded computers used to control complicated devices’ operations. Desktop and corporate computer networks emphasize adaptability based on user preferences. SBCs offer simplicity with an unchangeable structure resulting in reduced performance and associated issues that lead to downtimes.
Because SBCs reduce downtime instances, they have become among the most preferred computers for running critical operations such as automotive anti-lock braking systems. These computers are applicable in different industries, primarily because of their reliability. This is one of the most proven reasons that make SBCs suitable and used widely in different fields.
Advantages of SBCs
An SBC is a complete computer that comes with all features needed for a functional computer. It is generally a small operational computer on a single integrated circuit facilitating the operation of different devices. This enables it to apply to different industries hence provides the following advantages over desktop computers;
Easy to Use
SBCs are small and straightforward, unlike desktops, which are cumbersome for some users to assemble. These single computer units can be readily used because each one comes with various in-built features. As such, users find it easy to apply in different industries hassle-free.
Since the introduction of SBCs, the hardware has undergone several upgrades and changes, which gives it the green light for usage. Developers have also eliminated lag time and other associated challenges that can motivate users to become reluctant to pursue these computers. Using SBCs hence seems the best option as such risks are kept at bay.
The SBC allows users to apply any computer modifications, which makes it suitable for different purposes. This gives it a versatile feature that fits every user’s needs without acquiring a new computer system. Besides, it works well in various devices across different industries.
SBCs are computers designed on a single board hence processing information from a single source. Unlike system-on-a-chip devices, single board systems function separately provided they are programmed to perform a given function. Intrinsically, it enables users to process various functions on a single board computer.
Time to Market
The design and functionality of SBCs make them suitable for various functions besides being fast and efficient. Other benefits include being flexible and without downtime. These, among other benefits, have made them popular among users. Besides, the design is faster than other forms of computers.
Disadvantages of SBCs
Despite these computers being more beneficial than everyday computing devices, they also have their downside. However, its disadvantages don’t impact functionality but concentrate on usability. Here are some of the limitations of single board computing devices.
The design of such high-value computers uses more engineering costs, which also makes them costly. Hence, SBCs tend to become more expensive than ordinary computers and challenging to acquire for some users. This poses a challenge, especially for low-budget users intending to use SBCs in various operations.
Unlike single board computing devices, a system-on-a-chip tends to be more valuable when it comes to customization. Though SBCs incorporate an adaptable feature, some computer systems tend to become more flexible than SBCs. This makes this computer unreliable, more so when looking to customize it depending on individual operations at hand.
Before using single board computing systems, users need to spend some time to learn, including its functions and development. This is because it is quite different from other computing devices and can become tricky to use without understanding how they operate readily. Such an approach can be detrimental to some users looking to use the device once they acquire it.
Applications of SBCs
Computers built on a single board tend to perform identical tasks like other computing devices. However, they come with their advantages over commonly used devices hence becoming suitable for various applications. Most industries have found the use of SBCs essential because they are efficient, have no downtime, and can perform various operations at a go. That said, here are some of the applications of SBCs;
- Experimentation: SBCs have proven to be the best computing devices to perform various scientific procedures. Such an approach has led to the creation of new conclusions on different aspects.
- Learning Programming: Regardless of the programming language used, SBCs enable computer students to learn computer coding processes with ease. This enables them to learn and comprehend essential concepts under study quickly.
- Creation of Media Players: Because of its capacity, input/out features, and adaptability, users can design a suitable media player using this computer type.
- Automotive: Most modern vehicles use single board computing devices to provide map precision, managing sensors, and more. This has become a standard feature used among different vehicle developers nowadays.
- Robotics: SBCs play a vital role in providing essential data for robots as it facilitates the intersection between science, engineering, and technology. Sequentially, this gives rise to the creation of moving machines that perform specific tasks.
- Performing Computing Tasks: Single board computers also perform regular tasks performed by desktops and laptops. These include web browsing and word processing.
- Facilitates IoT: SBCs are vital on the Internet of Things (IoT) sector because they help in facilitating various operations.
Today, SBCs have become popular and among the most preferred single unit computers among users. Learning about its benefits and applications helps users to understand what it entails and the cons it accompanies. Still, it is an excellent piece of computing device appropriate for various uses.