Choosing the Right Single Board Computer: Factors to Consider

Choosing the Right Single Board Computer: Factors to Consider

Tips for Choosing the Right Single Board Computer

Consider your application’s requirements before making a decision

With the increasing development and competitiveness of single board computers, there are numerous options available to cater to your specific application needs. However, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of your goals before selecting the appropriate board. Here are some guidelines to help determine which form factor of SBC aligns with the category of your application.

  • For portable and handheld devices that perform single tasks, such as consoles, a more compact form factor like the 1.8″ SBC is often the best fit.
  • Smart devices like sensors or home automation systems, which are typically designed to blend inconspicuously into the environment, also benefit from the 1.8″ SBC. In sectors like healthcare and transportation, where multiple connectivity options like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are necessary for frequent communication, a more versatile and comprehensive 3.5″ or 4″ SBC may be required.
  • In robotics applications, the size of the SBC is crucial as it must fit within the robot’s chassis. Smaller SBCs are generally preferred since robots operate on battery power for their brain and limbs. However, in the case of complex robots that require advanced problem-solving skills, trade-offs might be necessary to enhance peripheral sensors and enable object detection. These additional considerations will determine whether a more versatile 3.5″ or even 4″ SBC would be a better option for the robots.
Choosing the Right Single Board Computer: Factors to Consider

I/O and Expansion

Two vital types of expansions that significantly impact space are storage and graphics. For instance, tasks involving video footage and imaging heavily rely on hard drive space for storing vast amounts of videos, as well as an external graphics card for processing. In such scenarios, the more versatile 3.5″ and 4″ SBCs are better suited to handle these demanding tasks.

Certain signals, including GPIO, CAN bus, UART, SPI, or I2C, are particularly crucial. Dealing with switches, sensors, and communication for critical services leaves no room for errors. The following applications fall into this category:

In today’s technologically advanced cities, smart devices play a crucial role in gathering valuable data pertaining to various aspects such as traffic patterns and air quality. These devices enable cities to make informed decisions for improving transportation systems, reducing congestion, and enhancing overall environmental sustainability. By utilizing the power of single board computers, these smart city devices can effectively process and transmit data, facilitating data-driven urban planning and management.

Medical imaging equipment, electronic health records, patient data, and instrument operations.

In the field of healthcare, the utilization of single board computers is instrumental in managing and processing medical imaging data, electronic health records, and patient information. Medical imaging equipment relies on powerful computing capabilities to generate accurate diagnostic images, while electronic health records require secure and efficient storage and retrieval systems. Single board computers enable seamless integration of these functions, ensuring smooth operations in medical facilities, enhancing patient care, and supporting advanced research in the field of medicine.

Industrial automation that controls performance, product line monitoring, quality control, etc.

In industrial settings, automation plays a crucial role in optimizing performance, monitoring product lines, and maintaining quality control. Single board computers provide the necessary computing power and connectivity options for implementing efficient industrial automation systems. These systems enable real-time monitoring, analysis, and control of various manufacturing processes, ensuring consistent product quality, minimizing downtime, and improving overall productivity. By leveraging the capabilities of single board computers, industries can streamline their operations, increase efficiency, and stay competitive in today’s dynamic business landscape.

Therefore, it is crucial to select a single board computer (SBC) that either has a built-in interface or supports expansion modules to accommodate the specific protocols involved. By ensuring compatibility with the required protocols, the SBC can seamlessly integrate with the necessary devices, sensors, or systems, enabling smooth communication and data exchange. This flexibility in choosing an SBC with the right interface capabilities is essential for successfully implementing various applications and ensuring optimal performance.

Choosing the Right Single Board Computer: Factors to Consider

Determine the budget

  • Processors from high-end brand names typically come with a higher price tag compared to lower-end processors.
  • More Memory, often paired with more powerful processors, generally results in higher costs.
  • SBCs that come with pre-installed operating systems like Linux or Windows, or those requiring a license, tend to be more expensive.
  • Additional accessories such as cases, power supplies, SSDs, and antennas can contribute to the overall project expenses.
  • SBCs with extensive connectivity options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, or USB ports typically come at a higher cost. This decision is crucial as SBCs have limited expansion slots, making it necessary to consider existing components when choosing connectivity options.
  • A dedicated graphics processing unit (GPU) has a significant impact on cost. It requires an additional expansion slot, specific space and chassis design, and a proper thermal solution for efficient cooling.
  • Surprisingly, smaller form-factor SBCs designed for embedded systems or pocket-sized boards can be more expensive than larger form-factor SBCs. The compact design and ingenuity required to fit all components on a tiny board come at a price.
  • Well-known brands often command higher prices due to their reputation for durability, quality, and after-sales services.
  • Development tools and software support may be sold as part of a package with the board. It is important to ensure that these utilities are useful for your specific application before opting for complete solution packages.
  • Customization can lead to additional costs, ranging from designing the PCB layout to meeting minimum order quantities (MOQs), making it an uncharted territory where expenses can accumulate.
Choosing the Right Single Board Computer: Factors to Consider

Are you ready to explore the world of Single Board Computers and find the perfect fit for your needs?

Unlock the power of single board computers with BVM, the industry’s leading expert in designing, manufacturing and supplying industrial and embedded computer equipment. With over 30 years of experience, we have honed our skills and built a reputation for delivering cutting-edge solutions to businesses across various sectors.

Our commitment to excellence is reflected in every aspect of our work, from the quality of our products to the level of customer service we provide. Whether you need a customized solution tailored to your unique requirements or require immediate access to our wide range of off-the-shelf products, BVM has you covered. Take the first step towards optimizing your operations by contacting us today at or calling us at 01489 780144. Let BVM be your trusted partner in the world of single board computers.

1 8 SBC

1.8″ SBCs

2 5 SBC

2.5″Pico-ITX SBCs

3 5 SBC

3.5″ SBCs

4 0 SBC

4″ SBCs

Exploring the World of Single Board Computers: From 1.8" to 4"

Exploring the World of Single Board Computers: From 1.8″ to 4″

A single board computer (SBC) is a complete computer board that incorporates essential components like a processor and RAM.

Choosing the Perfect SBC: Windows vs Linux on ARM and x86 Single Board Computers

Choosing the Perfect SBC: Windows vs Linux on ARM and x86

Windows vs Linux on ARM vs x86 SBCs. Here are some key advantages and disadvantages to consider when choosing an SBC.

We like to make life easier ….

BVM supply a wide and diverse range of Industrial and Embedded Systems.
From Industrial Motherboards, SBCs and Box PCs, to Rack Mount computers and Industrial Panel PCs.

Our technical & commercial team members will always provide you with valuable but impartial advice around the products and services that BVM provide. With their collective backgrounds, they’ll provide you with the benefit of their knowledge and experiences when & where you need it. We’ll always help you in the first instance and get back to you when additional information is required.

You can either call us directly on +(0) 1489 780 144 and talk to one of the team | E-mail us at | Use the contact form on our website

BVM Design and Manufacturing Services: The manufacturer behind the solutions you know

When a standard embedded design won’t suffice for what you need, you can always turn to BVM for help and use our custom design and manufacturing services.