Embedded Single Board Computers

Written by Stephanie Bilberry
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The use of special purpose computers that are used to drive or control machinery is rapidly on the increase. It is difficult to give a comprehensive list of examples of applications for embedded computers, because just about every kind of machinery in use nowadays contains some kind of embedded computer chip. Take your microwave, for example, which almost certainly does. Your car, your heating system, and even your vacuum cleaner are all examples. If this is the story at home, imagine how the computer chip has transformed industry.

Major Factors That Make Single Board a Main Choice

A major factor in choosing embedded systems is cost. This type of computer often needs to be reproduced in the thousands, so manufacturing costs are of primary importance. Speed is not so critical with embedded computers; their criteria are different to ordinary computers.

One of the reasons speed is not an issue is because the computer will be running with the constraints of the real time machinery it is a part of. Although there may be an interface, there is often no screen, no keyboard and no disk drive to an embedded computer. Embedded systems are often controlled remotely by means of a wireless system.

The most common type of computer system used in embedded applications is the single board computer. They have a wide range of industrial applications, and since many uses in industry also require that the computer components be rugged, the single board arrangement often wins out over less robust multi-board alternatives. Single board options are also more appropriate for embedded systems that need to be mobile.

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