Talk:Single-board computer

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Have all SBCs actually been µcomputers?[edit]

Currently, the article states that all SBCs have to be microcomputers. But how about the Data General Nova? Please comment. --Wernher 00:06, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The original Nova series was very close to the modern SBC, but still needed separate core on the backplane. It would be a few more years before RAM was adequately compact to produce a true SBC. --Eponymous Coward 09:51, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
Apart from stunts like the "Kenbak", was there ever a single board computer build with random SSI logic (no LIS, no microprocessor)? Kind of the point that microprocessors made it not only possible, but advantageous to put the whole computer on one board. --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:23, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Given the gate count of even a 4004 or 6502, probably not. If it is possible, you will most likely find it here. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:41, 15 February 2013 (UTC)


Have cleaned up and expanded the article a bit, but it could use a picture of a embedded SBC, anyone know where to get a copyright-free one? Have removed the cleanup and stub tags since I think the article is OKish now, but anyone disagrees feel free to replace then and I'll take another shot at it. Astaroth5 16:23, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

there ya go, not a great photo, but good enough for ebay. Taken by me and released into PD. Sweavo 15:27, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

More Cleanup[edit]

Added some current information and the photo of the SBC in a backplane. Chassisplans 15:43, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Beagleboard vs BeagleBone[edit]

I am putting this in the talk section because every time I edit the article it is removed (like three times I think; doesn't this authortarian editting get old for you guys?). I would think the "authors" (although this is supposed to be owned by the "public") would want the references section to include as many SBCs as exist in the real world as a more complete and through handling of the topic. But none the less it appears not to be the case. So here is my list of the two board configurations and they aren't even close to being just "variants" anymore than the other SBCs in the reference list are. I give up and will go away because this article, like so many in wikipedia are "OWNED" by specific individuals who will NOT accept any other view of the material even when presented with the facts:

My assertion is that BealeBoard and BeagleBone are two essentially different products. So lets start with a list of differences:

- the PCB boards are different sizes and shapes
- DRAM technology
- bone: 10/100 ethernet with RJ-45 connector
- board; 4-port USB 2.0 hub; bone: 1-port USB 2.0 host
- board: db-9 and 14-pin JTAG connectors; bone: usb to jtag, jtag header (not populated)
- board: 1.8-V 28-pin expansion header (not populated), 2 20-pin LCD expansion headers (not populated)
--bone: 3.3-V 2x46-pin expansion headers
- board: audio codec
- bone: LiOn battery charger, LED backlight driver
- board: audio line out and in connectors
- board: S-video and DVI-D video connectors
- board: seral port header
- board: reset and user buttons; bone: reset button
- board: SD/MMC slot; bone: microSD slot
- plus lots more

then things that are the same:
- client USB connector
- power connector (5.0-V)
- host USB connector

My guess is that they will delete this entire topic right out of the talk section since it doesn't agree with their "view" of the real world. It will only live on in the immutable history of wikipedia. (talk) 15:18, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

It's a basic empirical observation of Wikipedia that Andy Dingley is never going to agree with Wtshymanski. Now if you do happen to see the two of us agreeing on something, then it's a fair bet that someone else is pushing the view that 2+2=5.
What's a BeagleBone? What's a BeagleBoard? Now what you failed to mention in your list above is that both of them are developed by the same people, to be a demo system for OMAP and are based on an ARM Cortex processor. In the vast world of "single board computers", that's pretty damned narrow.
WP articles aren't either supposed to just be lists of parts. That would make for a very, very dull article. A See also section at all is a bit of an admission that the article has failed to give the useful narrative it out to to some linkable items that are too important to miss out otherwise. Yet the See also list is not there to be a list of related products! Can you imagine how vast this would end up?
As a naive reader of Single-board computer I just about know what an ARM Cortex is, but not at all what OMAP is. It might be useful to link OMAP here (if it's really interesting for modern developments) and to explain how it changes the world of the SBC. It's tenuous though to even link BeagleBoard. No-one reading SBC backgrounders needs to know what a BeagleBoard is: it's just one of many, many tech demonstrators. It belongs in List of single-board computers and its variants, it certainly ought to be categorised as such, so that MediaWiki can auto-make such a list for us, through categorization (this is usually so much better than updating list articles). As a See also though, it (and all the other SBC examples) are barely justified for any of them being listed here, in this fashion. The last thing the article needs is one of them to be duplicated, especially when one of those terms is still unlinked, and when the two terms are indistinguishable at the level a reader of the SBC article cares about. Andy Dingley (talk) 16:03, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
So let me get this straight. You don't like the "See Also" SBC list as is. It certainly isn't organized as "technology" references (nor documented as such). There is NO "list of single-board computers" article (which list I thought this was and would be very useful for novice and experienced embedded designers). The list can't have two things because they are designed by the same person/team (didn't see that mentioned anywhere; but oh well). They both can't be listed because the two processors are designed by the same company (didn't see that rule anywhere either). (The referenced article does mention the BeagleBone; albeit only in passing.) But given all that, it is my single small contribution to clarity and visibility that MUST, BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE, be removed; over and over. (The "you are not welcome" sign is clearly out; or maybe the "go away" sign.) If you guys feel so strongly then you should have initiated this dialog first and argued your case to a conclusion before starting a "two word" edit battle. Oh, and by the way, I don't think you have made even a small case for removing my simple addition to the article.
And, by the way, I wasn't trying to obfuscate the processor difference issue. The "board" has a "DM3730 Digital Media Processor" conforming to OMAP 3 Architecture, and the "bone" has an "AM3359" MPU; yes both are ARM Cortex-A8 but the AM3359 is not listed on the Texas Instruments web site as OMAP compliant. The AM3359 has "High Performance Image, Video, Audio (IVA2.2) Accelerator Subsystem; Advanced Very-Long-Instruction-Word (VLIW) TMS320C64x+ DSP Core; Camera Image Signal Processing (ISP) subsystems... And I would submit that even if the processors were identical, which they are NOT, they are still very different SBCs -- the title of the article. (talk) 17:36, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Did you not notice that none of the other single-board computers have all their marketing variations listed? And you are quite welcome to start List of single board computers, if you think it would be useful; at least it has the great merit of being about *real* objects that presumably can be referenced by reliable independent non-trivial sources. WP:NOT says that Wikipedia is not a substitute for directories or other miscellaneous collections of information. We're not supposed to be compiling a shopper's guide here, but instead an encyclopedia. The purposes are different. --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:15, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Related discussion[edit]

There is a discussion at Talk:List of single-board computers#Scope - whether to include single-board microcontrollers that may be of interest to editors of this page. --Guy Macon (talk) 02:05, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Written before the SBC revolution?[edit]

The market for SBCs have exploded, yet this article paints a picture from the old days! It does not mention the most defining concepts of modern SBCs, like SoC, SoM, GPIO, shields, developer boards, home automation, android, linux, u-boot…

The way it defines «single-board computer» is also problematic — if «two distinct architectures» wasn't a poor enough justification for not counting backplanes as boards, it hardly facilitates any more discussion of >1 board scenarioes, like:

  • A SoM makes up 1 board in a 2-board computer, the other being the connecor board that exposes (different subsets of) the SoM's connectors. A great example is the Wandboard — very similar to the Nitrogen6x, except being 2 boards.
  • Shields / accessory modules: Some SBCs have attachable hardware peripherals. Examples range from the big expensive Arndale board, to the cheap small pcDuino.

In defining SBC, we should require only the general purpose computer to be on a single board — this is the embedded part of the embedded computer. There are too many examples where peripherals (aka special purpose, or application specific parts of the embedded system) are made as separate boards. Especially among those with a "board" form factor (in my opinion, the most genuine representants of the SBC revolution). The exact number of boards is an implementation detail. (talk) 22:57, 10 September 2013 (UTC)