The Future of Single Board Computers

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Future SBC processors, RAM, storage and connectivity all discussed in a video featuring 19 single board computers! What will SBCs look like beyond the Raspberry Pi, LattePanda, Odroid UX4, UDOOx86, Rock64 and HiKey 960 . . .?

My reviews of some of the SBCs featured in this video include:

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+:

Odroid XU4:

UDOOx86 Advanced Plus:

LeMaker HiKey 960:

LeMaker Guitar:

Asus Tinker Board S:

LattePanda:

Rock64:

Banana Pro:

You can find some of the above SBCs on Amazon as follows (affiliate links);

Raspberry Pi 3 B+:

LattePanda:

Odroid XU4:

Rock64 (2GB):

You may also enjoy my recent book “Digital Genesis: The Future of Computing, Robots and AI”:

More videos on computing and related topics can be found at:

And I have another YouTube channel called ExplainingTheFuture at:

43 Comments

  1. Well, watching this video brings to mind a quandary that the industry faced, fixed and faced again. The current question "where do I plug it in" has been very highly selectively answered by "usb in usb, hdmi in hdmi" and so on. Each of these options in a standard machine are perfectly fine, but in a limited space environment such as a SBC the very connectors become the most expensive components on board given the large real estate they requive vs the functionality they provide.

  2. There are better power connectors than those iffy coaxial barrel jacks. How about a 3A JST?

  3. today, arrived my new Pi 3b+ and Odroid. Pi ok… not checked soo much, but Odroid is uuuuuuuuuuuuuuii!! 🙂

  4. Had just read about UDOO 'S Bolt for the first time about 20 minutes before watching this video stay safe professor Chris

  5. thank you for the video keep up the great work on single board computers sbc after watching this video i am now a new subscriber imoa myself and my close group of friends also agree with you and your observations we also think a single form factor should be standard end point evolution and we think it should be around the footprint of a checkbook box thanks again for the great videos

  6. I wanna see on-board LTE/SIM card socket. or at least M.2 support for one. I have many applications where I wish they came standard.

  7. The cost problem with adding gizmo’s is not the tech, it's the licensing fees. A Pi 3 could do more as it is but to do so out of the box would double the price in license fees. So until that changes you have and will continue to have the option, $35.00 bucks for a Pi {or equivalent} or pay 2, 3, 4 or more times as much for whatever else is on the market. It's the wish in one hand and $#!t in the other problem.

  8. This thing needs an octo core cpu, at least 8 gigs of RAM, 500gb m.2, 4x usb 3.0, pcie with a wire so it is on the opposite side of cpu for a big ass gpu. Simple, high quality casing with insulation in between cpu and gpu and extra quiet fans. 4x6x12 inch form factor. Comment on this in ten years when this is an affordable reality ✌️

  9. What's the point with this type of computers? Isn't a Cell Phone more powerful than this?

  10. I've always kept my eye on those Pi boards. Won't be interested tho until I see CHD based MAME games like KILLER INSTINCT running smoothly on them. Great video by the way sir.

  11. Very interesting, but I didn't understand why these are all referred to as 'Singapore' computers?

  12. Please add your own subs to your videos. it's a worthy investment to attract viewers from other countries

  13. seriously? on preview ethernet socket there is only 6 pins? who draw this??

  14. I'd think they would evolve into usb-c for most connections. Power, video, and peripherals.

  15. Why not suggest moving from micro USB to USB-C for power, since it can drive a lot of power

  16. 14:14 damn boi you want a mini full fledged PC. I too hope they end up like that, but i doubt we'll reach it in the next two years.

  17. For card size SBC price is the most important thing. Price sould be no more than $60 or so. Beyond that I would start looking at cheap sockeded systemy (like G4560, cheap mobo) or mini ITX atom motherboards. Also I don’t see much space for x86, mainly because wit Windows and many other programs being ported to ARM, x8 biggest advantage, wide support is going to diminished. ARM efficiency can be overstated. In my opinion biggest obstacle for x86 in these devices is that Intel is not interested in products with such low margins.

    SOC: I would be great if someone would came up wit SOC specifically designed for SBC. At this point size of the market should support that. Also 7nm gives you huge transistor budget so everything can go on one chip. For CPU: 4-8 core big.LITTLE configuration, something like 2x A75 and 2x A55. Jump in performance is often needed more on GPU side, so mid-range mobile chip, like new Mali G52 or at least G31. SOC should also have decent video processor (encoder and decoder that support HEVC and later AV1 up to 4K), audio chip, Wi-Fi chip (802.11ac, later .ax), gigabit ethernet, few PCIe lanes and USB ports and better than bottom-of-the-barrel memory controller. Cellular modem (5G) could be included on some models that target IoT.

    As for memory, more is better, but unfortunately amount will depend on prices on the DRAM market. Given the crazy prices in last two year I’m not very optimistic.

    For connectivity: on USB front 3.0 is more than enough, no need for 3.1 gen2.Type-C however gives the option to include more ports on smaller space. Gigabit ethernet needs to have its own controler. M.2 is exciting not just because it give option of much faster storage, but also because it gives you 4 PCIe lanes, that can be used for other stuff. Network card or accelerators, like tiny FPGAs on M.2.

  18. I like the fact that the boards are keeping pace with the minimum specs for desktops.
    Can get several and throw them absolutly everywhere.

    I predicted in the early 2000s that everything would be a screen. Now the computers are small enough, and screens thin enough, to hide everything inside the screens case.

  19. Aren't we missing the whole point of them? As usual in these things.

  20. I am going to disagree on the need for a barrel jack power supply. USB C can push 100 watts that's enough power for a i7 (not a mobile or U i7 I mean a full up 8700 desktop cpu with 6 cores at over 3.5ghz), a SSD ,16GB of ram and a ac wifi card. For a single Board computer how is that not powerful enough for you? Are you looking for one that runs on threadripper?

  21. I would do usb-C for power. If it can power a MacBook it can power a sbc

  22. What happens when technology speed progressions slows down? remake old hardware in a smaller form factor and re-sell it back to people… then call it a day. In all seriousness though this may be useful when it comes to making handheld computers and maybe handheld emulation devices… possibly smaller tech that doesn't require too much resources , power or clock speeds, however im not one to jump on board with spending a lot of money on old slower hardware that was slimmed down to fit on one board. then buy new iterations while they slowly make it faster, we already have portable pc devices, they are laptops. if you want the same performance and portability as these things just buy an old cheap laptop and install a non bulky linux distro.

  23. X86 will be a game changer. Priced at below $70 would give windows a large boost. Which is surprising that large scale operating systems haven't tried to benefit by building lower range PC/SBC boards. I've only used Windows and tried to learn Lynx. If the same holds true I may be able learn more Lynx and switch from Windows.

  24. "A good solid barrel jack for power"
    No thanks old timer, nobody but you wants to go back to random wall warts and power bricks. USB C supports 15 W, or up to 100 W with the USB Power Delivery spec.

  25. The Banana PI M1 is until today the most compatible and non-complicated board also with Sata.
    But RasPi until today dont have, either USB3 … sucks.
    Lattepanda loses with Win10 and no working Linux until today, as promisses.

  26. Don't forget PoE. Being able to have an sbc hang off the end of a network where power is not available makes a lot of sense. The new PI 3+ will have the ability for an addon to provide it.

  27. I`d love to be able to buy more pi zero`s for 5€, not only one for 10.

  28. I do find it odd that there is no mention of the curious Hardkernal/Odroid HC1/HC2/MC1 designs when mentioning cooling and storage. Those are some interesting designs for addressing these concerns.

  29. Hi Chris,
    I am watching this for a second time. History of SBCs is interesting,.
    I am wondering when pc's will incorporate a SBC as the I/O processor, and leave the cpu and ram for more normal and reasonable computation.
    Currently, we have expensive motherboards, expensive GPU cards for gamers, and we waste the AMD or Intel cpus to handling USB ports, Keyboards, Audio, Networking, and whatever else.

    I would like to see the interrupt-heavy activities including Disk IO being done using a pluggable SBC. PCs already do have audio processors, external graphics processors, so perhaps it's time to rethink the PC architecture.

    Challenge
    ========
    If you were to re-architect the PC to incorporate an SBC, what would you do for your new PC design?

  30. I wish they would get rid of the type Micro USB connector for power. It is absolutely the worst connector ever.

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