Single Board Computers (SBC) Information Single board computers (SBC) serve as the motherboard for instrumentation systems including modern PCs. SBCs are composed of a microprocessor, memory chip, and serial and parallel interfaces to communicate with other devices.   Processor or CPU type, processor speed, I/O bus specifications, memory, I/O interfaces, and storage are important specifications to consider when searching for single board computers (SBC).  Additional...
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Q & A on Single Board Computers (SBC)

We asked our users for their input on Single Board Computers (SBC). Here are the results of 78 users familiar with Single Board Computers (SBC).

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice |

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing single board computer design?
14 answers
Answers:
Software drives the technology the most. The CPU performance / Watt is a close follower.
~Stephen J, Design Engineer, Middleton, WI
Faster processors, large flash densities in smaller packages and low power.
~Marketing/Sales, Middleton, WI
High speed serial interfaces - PCIe, RapidIO, 10 Gb Ethernet, etc. FPGAs.
~Marketing/Sales, Middleton, WI
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative single board computers?
8 answers
Answers:
Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES)
~Marketing/Sales, Middleton, WI
Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc.
~Engineer, Middleton, WI
Kontron, Adlink, Curtiss-Wright
~Ibrahim OLCER, Project Manager, Kocaeli, TURKEY
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used single board computers for?
26 answers
Answers:
Radar signal processing (proprietary military systems), TLC processing (PICMG and cPCI), test equipments (PC104, PICMG, cPCI) both for military and industrial application.
~Micucci G., BUH manager., Milano, Italy
At university lab. Many different applications, for example communication with tangent board, writing to memory via serial com. using AD/DA converter etc.
~Mahmood A, Engineer, Göteborg, SWEDEN
Mobile automotive computerized fuel flow meter, used to deliver liquid fuel to customers, including airport airplanes refueling.
~Engineering, Design, Sofia, Bulgaria
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that single board computers have been used for.
8 answers
Answers:
Target detection over bi dimensional doppler map; target detection over SAR images. Protocol analyzers. Actually Wireless Mobile population simulation using SDR system: this family of devices is based on TI DSP ad Xilinx FPGA and is based on : one 3 Processor-3 FPGA mixed signal SBC; one 2 dsp - 2 FPGA mixed signal SBC; one multiprocessor (6) -multicore (3) SBC as math accelerator.
~Micucci G., BUH manager., Milano, Italy
PET scanner in the spinning gantry with high-g forces. Initially, the SBCs had the socketed-windowed DIP EEPROMs that became projectiles at full speed.
~Stephen J, Design Engineer, Middleton, WI
SBC's have been used as loads for testing power supply modules.
~Marketing/Sales, Middleton, WI
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FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
11 answers
Answers:
Full integration between cpu , dsp, FPGA tools and big increase of high speed serial bus interfacing in order to reduce bad influence of external circuitry on high speed signals. Easy integration between co processing (DSP and FPGA ) at code development stage: VHDL/verilog stay to actual firmware as assembler for code development when we have OOD.
~Micucci G., BUH manager., Milano, Italy
Fast processor, low power, a lot of fast memory, a lot of I/O capability, rugged
~Marketing/Sales, Middleton, WI
EFI BIOS, low-power, conduction, high-bandwidth data processing
~Engineer, Middleton, WI
Compact, low power, high reliability and fast processing.
~Marketing/Sales, Middleton, WI
Smaller but standard form factor (good luck on this).
~General Corporate Mgmt, Atlanta, GA
Integration of the "Cell" processor
~Jesse L, SBC Debug Technician, Madison, WI
Operating temperature and size
~Ibrahim OLCER, Project Manager, Kocaeli, TURKEY
Liquid submersion cooling
~Marketing/Sales, Middleton, WI
High compute bandwidth.
~Lead Technician, Middleton, WI
Thin client, embedded
~Jignesh Jani K, Faculty/Staff, Vadodara, India
Low power, low heat
~Engineer, Middleton, WI

Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using single board computers?
6 answers
Answers:
With the complexity of doing designs using Intel and Freescale processors, it is better to buy a COTS product and focus on your area of expertise for your application rather than trying to build your own SBC.
~Marketing/Sales, Middleton, WI
Evaluate the SBC properly before making a decision. Interact with the support to get a feeling for how you'll be helped when you encounter a question or problem.
~Stephen J, Design Engineer, Middleton, WI
Consider software support and technical support in your evaluations to avoid costly road-blocks in your projects.
~Engineer, Middleton, WI
Contact a knowledgeable distributor or company like Extreme Engineering Solutions.
~Lead Technician, Middleton, WI
Must be small and low heat producing and as powerful as possible.
~Jignesh Jani K, Faculty/Staff, Vadodara, India
Leave room for capabilities when choosing SBC
~Jesse L, SBC Debug Technician, Madison, WI

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of single board computers?
5 answers
Answers:
I have found that dealing with larger SBC providers results in higher frustration. They will typically charge for any type of support including the most basic level one would expect.
~Stephen J, Design Engineer, Middleton, WI
Determine which operating system(s) the target application needs to execute early on in the selection process.
~Engineer, Middleton, WI
It's better to overestimate the need for a certain chip set than to underestimate.
~Jesse L, SBC Debug Technician, Madison, WI
Meeting actual power consumption and heat dissipation requirements.
~Lead Technician, Middleton, WI
Always get more memory than you think you will need.
~Marketing/Sales, Middleton, WI


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