We see people, mostly students making interesting science projects like Robots, remote controlled multi tasking vehicles or sometimes even better, Artificial intelligence. Sometimes people use a little computer which can be carried to anywhere and takes a little space. Almost like plug and play. Have you ever thought about the parts they use for these projects? Which one is the key hardware here? Among all the structural parts, SBC is the most important hardware. SBC refers to a single-board computer which is a complete computer built on a single circuit board, with microprocessor (s), memory, input/output (I/O), and other features required of a functional computer. Single-board computers are commonly made as demonstration or development systems, for educational systems, or to use as embedded computer controllers. Many types of home computers or portable computers integrate all their functions onto a single printed circuit board.
Unlike desktop PCs, single board computers rarely rely on expansion slots for peripheral function and expansion.
Single-board computers have been built using a wide range of microprocessors. Simple designs, such as those built by computer hobbyists, often use static RAM and low-cost 8- or 16-bit processors. Single-board computers come in a vast range of different capacities. Because some of them are used to control very simple processes, some single board computers are very slow compared to the average desktop computer.
Single-board computers are frequently employed in embedded applications. We cannot expand an embedded computer, and it contains only the input and output capabilities it needs for the task for which it is designed. For example, an ATM might have an embedded single board computer in it to control the functions of the ATM, but there would be no provision to add more hardware to the computer to expand its capabilities.
Most times, single board computers are plugged into a Backplane. The Backplane allows for input and output devices to be attached to the computer. We can see the use of single board computers in rack systems, which allows for reliable and fast integration into a system.
There are different single board computers available. The most common types are Backplane connection SBCs. These come in designs that work with various architectures, including Intel architectures and others. Some names of these designs include the PXI, VXI, and the Compact PCI types, all of which are widely available.
With Backplanes, the computer is capable of working with connections including PCI-X, PCI, and others.
A System Host Board is one that meets the PICMG 1.3 specification. PICMG version 1.2 offered PCI-X support. Prior versions offered support for PCI and IFA connections.
Some single-board computers include hard drives and some do not. Those that do not are typically operated completely off of a network. Other form factor options include Mini-ITX, PC/104, VMEbus, VPX, Embedded Compact Extended, and AdvancedTCA.
The Raspberry Pi Zero W board extends the functionality of the Pi Zero board with wireless LAN and Bluetooth connectivity. BCM43143 WiFi chip addition made it possible to bring it with built-in Wi-Fi. This is one of the ideal single-board computers of this era in many ways. Considering its tiny size, you might be surprised to find out that it comes with the Broadcom BCM2835 CPU clocked at 1 GHz and 512 MB LPDDR2 SDRAM That’s right, for a super low cost, you can have an incredibly versatile single-board computer that stands on the shoulders of the most active and helpful community of single-board computer enthusiasts in existence. The Raspberry Pi Zero W measures only 6.5 cm × 3cm × 0.5cm, and it consumes so little energy that even a moderately large battery pack can keep it running for a very long time. Pi Zero W has all the functionality of the original Pi Zero but comes with added connectivity, comprising 802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.1, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This board can be called a Low-Cost Performer. It only costs around 2,600 BDT.
Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is a single-board computer with the Latest High-Performance Quad-Code 64-bit Broadcom 2711, Cortex A72 processor clocked at 1.5GHz speed. They design the board to use 20% less power and it offers a 90% greater performance than its old version. Hardware upgrade on Pi4 developed for faster performance not only in loading time with all-new 1GB/2GB and 4GB LPDDR4 SDRAM variants but also in connectivity with Dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz, 802.11 b/g/n/ac wireless LAN and PoE capability via a separate PoE HAT. Besides it has USB 3.0, they improved the transfer speed by 10x than USB 2.0 to provide you significantly faster true Gigabit internet experience. This version comes with 4GB of RAM, but there are also variants with 1 and 2 GB. The 1 GB ram variant costs about 4,400BDT and the 4 GB variant costs about 6,500 BDT in Bangladesh.
Just like Raspberry Pi Zero W and Raspberry Pi 4, ASUS Tinker Board can be used as a daily computer with more than enough power for basic image editing, Full HD video streaming, web browsing, music listening, and even some casual gaming. The board features the Rockchip RK3288, which is a modern quad-core ARM-based processor that you can find inside many tablets and multimedia players. With 2 GB of memory and the Mali-T764 GPU, the board can play HD and UHD video at 30 fps with the included media player with support for hardware acceleration. To further establish the ASUS Tinker Board as an excellent home multimedia center, it comes with one key feature that you won’t find on nearly any other SBC: an HD codec that supports up to 24-bit/192kHz audio. But the Tinker Board isn’t all about fun and games, well, depending on your idea of fun. The board also includes a 40-pin GPIO interface, a gigabit LAN connection, a DSI MIPI connection for displays and touchscreens, and a CSI MIPI connection for connection to compatible cameras, making it great for the Internet of Things. It costs around 6,000 BDT. In this price range, it can be a helpful companion for educational purposes.
ODROID-XU4 is a cost-effective, eminent power option with one gigabit Ethernet port for a fast connection, HDMI 1.4a for display, and the board even comes with an active cooler and a power adapter. It features the mighty Samsung Exynos 5422 Cortex-A15 octa-core GPU clocked at 2 GHz and the Mali-T628 MP6 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.1 and OpenCL 1.2. ODROID-XU4 also has 2 GB of memory, two USB 3.0 ports, but there is no Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. The board can run the latest version of Ubuntu, Android 4.4 KitKat, 5.0 Lollipop, and 7.1 Nougat, giving you plenty of options on how to turn it into a full-fledged computer or a handy backup device. When placed inside a delicate case, ODROID-XU4 can also be a fantastic first computer for a young child, especially with the Android operating system. In addition, it does not come cheap. This board costs around 12,000 BDT. ODROID-XU4 is powered by ARM big.LITTLE technology and the Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) solution. By implementing the eMMC 5.0, USB 3.0, and Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, the ODROID-XU4 boasts amazing data transfer speeds, a feature that is increasingly required to support advanced processing power on ARM devices. This allows users to truly experience an upgrade in computing, especially with faster booting, web browsing, networking, and 3D games.
A MicroSD card or an eMMC module is required to boot the OS. We would like to recommend an eMMC module for faster OS booting, quicker application launching, seamless multi-tasking, and efficient access to the cloud.
Latte Panda is a little different, it operates on the Windows 10 development platform. It comes with Windows 10 OEM activation key, so that’s something you don’t have to buy besides the board. The Latte Panda is more expensive, coming with an Intel Cherry Trail Z8350 Quad-Core Processor, USB 3.0 port, and two USB 2.0 ports. This board costs around 20,000 BDT for the 2GB RAM variant. And the 4 GB variant costs around 25,000 BDT and comes with Windows 10 pro. The Windows 10 Development Platform can be a little difficult to start out on, but this affordable single-board PC is a great way to get you started. There is onboard Wi-Fi 802.11n (2.4GHz) and supports Bluetooth 4. The 2GB RAM variant comes with 32GB eMMC memory. Since this one comes with Windows 10 already installed, you will be able to run powerful tools right out of the box, including Visual Studio, NodeJS, Java, Processing, etc.
Ultimately, there’s no shortage of single-board computers to buy in 2020. From budget-conscious options such as the Raspberry Pi Zero and Zero W to desktop-replacement SBCs like the ODROID-XU4 and Latte Panda, you’ve got a ton of choice. For The beginners, a Raspberry Pi 4 is the right pick. It’s reasonably priced, incredibly well-supported, and can handle everything from IT projects to desktop use and gaming with impeccable elegance. If you need to run AI, the Raspberry Pi 4 is also solid here. The ODROID-XU4 runs Android best, with the ASUS Tinker Board as a close contender. And if you need a Raspberry Pi 4 alternative, the ASUS Tinker Board is a nifty SBC.