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Explained: Single Board Computer vs. Industrial Motherboard - Unveiling the Key Differences

Aug. 04, 2023

A Single Board Computer (SBC) and an industrial motherboard are both types of computer hardware, but they serve different purposes and are designed for distinct applications. Here are the main differences between the two:


Form Factor:


·Single Board Computer (SBC): An SBC is a complete computer system built on a single circuit board. It integrates all the essential components, including the CPU, RAM, storage, I/O ports, and sometimes graphics, into one compact board.


·Industrial Motherboard: An industrial motherboard is a conventional motherboard designed for use in industrial environments. It is typically larger in size and follows standard form factors like ATX, Mini-ITX, or Micro-ATX. Industrial motherboards often require additional components like CPUs, RAM, and storage to create a complete computer system.


Integrated Components:


· SBC: As mentioned earlier, an SBC integrates the most essential components on the board, making it a self-contained computer with minimal external components required to function.


· Industrial Motherboard: An industrial motherboard does not come with integrated components like an SBC. Users need to add CPUs, RAM modules, storage drives, and expansion cards to build a complete system.


Purpose and Use Cases:


·SBC: Single Board Computers are popular in various applications, including embedded systems, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, educational platforms, and hobbyist projects. They are designed for simplicity, ease of use, and space-saving applications.


·Industrial Motherboard: Industrial motherboards are primarily intended for more robust and demanding applications in industrial settings. They are built to withstand harsh conditions, offer better reliability, and support extended temperature ranges. Industrial motherboards are commonly used in automation, manufacturing, transportation, and other industrial control systems.


Operating Conditions:


·SBC: Single Board Computers are generally designed for standard operating conditions and may not have the ruggedness or environmental protections required for harsh industrial environments.

·Industrial Motherboard: Industrial motherboards are engineered with enhanced durability and often include features like wider temperature ranges, industrial-grade components, and protection against dust, moisture, and vibrations.


Customization and Expandability:


·SBC: SBCs are typically less customizable than industrial motherboards. Their form factor and integrated components may limit expansion options.

·Industrial Motherboard: Industrial motherboards offer more flexibility in terms of customization and expansion. Users can choose compatible CPUs, memory, storage options, and expansion cards to suit their specific requirements.


In summary, Single Board Computers are compact, self-contained systems that integrate most components on a single board and are suitable for lightweight applications. Industrial motherboards are larger, more rugged, and designed for demanding industrial environments where customization, expandability, and reliability are essential.

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