NCS Systems NV

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SBCs, short for single-board computers, are general-purpose computers that are now also used for rapid prototyping (maker boards). Single-board computers are computers built on a single circuit board. They are designed as stand-alone solutions in the sense that they provide all the tools required for rapid prototyping, including memory, one or more data storage peripherals, processing power, and input/output interfaces (so-called “I/Os”), without the need for the user to retrieve additional modules.

Single-board computers are off-the-shelf solutions. The manufacturer’s aim is to produce a general-purpose machine that offers a wide range of out-of-the-box tools. SBCs are feature-rich solutions for which there is no one-size-fits-all form factor. While in the case of ARM architecture proprietary form factors are dominant, with x86 architecture there are also some standard form factors, such as embedded NUC™ and Pico-ITX, to name a couple.

Thanks to all these characteristics, an SBC empowers developers to concentrate their efforts on system integration rather than on electronics design. With SBCs, in fact, the company does not have to allocate resources for a new task, but can continue on its path, allowing it to stay completely focused on what is most relevant to its business, particularly important for start-ups and SMEs, which often only have a small amount of capital to invest.


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