7 Incredible Single Board Computers (SBCs)
- Nov 10, 2016
- Sudipto Das
SBC’s an entire computer assembled on a single circuit board that comprises primarily of microprocessor(s), memory, I/O (Input/Output) features etc.
Most of these boards can be considered to be complete computers like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBoard etc.
Engaging with SBCs is one of the most effective ways of adopting the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) culture, especially for beginners with little or no experience. These boards can be used for several electronics-based projects. In this article, we are going to highlight a few SBCs that are suitable for beginners and starters who want to explore the wonders of the maker culture.
This is a single board computer designed by the Raspberry Pi foundation.
Raspberry Pi was developed with the objective of promotion education and DIY projects in schools. The board is shaped in the form of a credit card.
The board can be used with a traditional monitor or TV (through the use of a HDMI cable) along with a conventional keyboard and mouse.
Users will be able to perform basic computing operations on it like browsing the internet, streaming and playing HD videos, low spec video gaming, word processing, etc. They’ll also be able to engage themselves in several programming languages like Scratch, Python, etc.
The board is available here for purchase. You’ll see that Raspberry Pi is comparatively much cheaper when compared to a traditional desktop or laptop computer.
The best thing about this SBC is that its source code and the board schematics are open sourced. Therefore, anyone can design their own versions of the board and can also customize the board according to their choice.
Arduino was designed by Massimo Banzi and a few of his friends as a form of a design tool.
These boards are perfect for all sorts of electronics based projects that involve sensors, lights, cameras, etc. If you want to go through the details of this board, you can refer to this article over here.
Arduino Uno is available for purchase over here.
This board kicked off as a “Kickstarter” project in 2015.
C.H.I.P. is tailor-made for students as well as teachers who want to explore the maker culture involving themselves in various DIY projects.
The board has a 1GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, 4GB hard-disk, wifi, and Bluetooth. The board also has two additional accessories:
- A pocket container,
- Video connector.
C.H.I.P. software is open-sourced. The board is available here for purchase.
The board is a form of invention platform that’s made primarily for IoT (Internet of Things).
The board supports a number of popular programming languages such as Python, Node.js, etc. and it also comes with a wifi.
Hardware specifications of the board can be found here. The board is available here.
Cubit, like C.H.I.P., started on “Kickstarter” in 2015.
This is a plug and play circuit board which also has a lot of additional components. These additional components include sensors, potentiometers, servos, LED strips, small LCD display, buzzers and more. Cubit is available for purchase here. You’ll see several kits on the website, ut if you are just a beginner in electronics, it’s better to start with the Cubit Starter kit.
Curiosity Development Board
Curiosity Development Board’s developed by Microchip.
This is perfectly suitable for students who want to get into the maker culture. An integrated debugger is present in the board. The aboard is available for purchase here.
The board is based on a 64-bit Intel® Atom™ processor. MinnowBoard is perfectly suitable for makers. The price of the board is also quite nominal when compared to a desktop/laptop computer.
MinnowBoard is a open source system and therefore can be customized by anyone as per their choice. The board is available for purchase here.
You can go through the detailed specifications of the board here.
The maker movement is deemed the 3rd Industrial revolution and hence, it can be said that this culture might play an important role in affecting a student’s career. The prospects are immense. So get a SBC and start making things. That’ll benefit you tremendously. We wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.
Sudipto writes technical and educational content periodically for wizert.com and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got a B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation.
Follow him on twitter @SudiptoDas1993
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