What is Single Board Computer? - Explained

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Every laptop or desktop computer in the world do have multiple boards which needs to plugged into the computer to make it fully functional. Almost all the laptops and desktop computers do have separate components which needs to be plugged into the main board or the motherboard to make it fully functional. There could be RAM which needs to plug into the mother board or the main board and processor and many other components.

Truly Single Board

Single Board computers do have only one board which all the other necessary components are plugged into the main board. It includes, processor, RAM, Graphics and all the necessary components plugged into the main board or the motherboard to perform as a normal computer.


Many single board computer which are there in the market do have low performance compared with any other laptop or desktop computer. Limited processing power, Limited RAM, limited storage as well. And most certainly the performance can't be upgraded by plugging more RAM card or graphic cards like Laptop or desktop computers.

So comparing with Laptops and Desktop computer, single board computers are not designed to be super powerful machines to perform huge amount of computing. Due to embedded chips which are there in the main board. It's not possible to add more chips additionally and more powerful chips will not be supported due to the supported chipset of the single board computers.

Single computers are ideal for the projects which are based on IoT (Internet of Things) and DIY projects where the computing power is required and the computing cost need at the cheapest.

Why Single Board

Single Board computers are designed for low power consuming computing. There are many engineers or individuals in the market who does have requirements to achieve computing needs in lowest possible power consuming manner.

There's a growing demand towards the DIY projects and development projects with the concept of IoT (Internet of Things). For the IoT projects the power consumption is extremely crucial but in demand for the comparative high performance rather than the low powered development boards based on Integrated Circuits.

By getting involving micro controllers, and ARM architecture and low power consuming architectures into the build, Single board computers can perform like mini servers where it's possible to compute more tasks than typical development boards.

Since the Single board computers do have GPIO ports and WiFi embedded into the board itself, it's possible for the developers to build solutions upon one board where it doesn't require another development board to communicate with sensors and output devices like motors and etc...

Many single board computers are capable with running linux based operating systems. Because of that, the developers do have the capability to develop apps and build services by using java, C, C++, Phython or any language what they are familiar with developing applications.


Single board computers are compact and the performance init are the most crucial and promising for the developments. Due to the low budget components which are embedded into the board, single board computers are extremely cheaper than any other type of computers in the market.

Due to the embedded USB ports which are there in the single board computers, the user do have the capability to add other components which they want with the demand.

Single board computers starts from a price tag of 5USD (Raspberry Pi Zero). More powerful single board computers do have prices tags to 200USD and more.