This section provides an overview for central processing unit (cpu) boards as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 1 central processing unit (cpu) board manufacturers and their company rankings.
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A central processing unit (CPU) board is a system controller chip with availability for attachment of peripheral devices mounted on a board to control a system, ranging from a single-chip microcontroller to a microcontroller of the scale used in a PC or other device.
Since commonly used peripheral devices are mounted on a central processing unit (CPU) board, it is possible to start software design immediately without having to design and prepare a dedicated board by yourself.
For software design, general-purpose device drivers, firmware, and sample applications are provided, and some boards even support operating systems.
Once the software design is complete, the software can be implemented on the central processing unit (CPU) board and the central processing unit (CPU) already. The software can also be implemented by removing unnecessary hardware from the central processing unit (CPU) board and designing a new dedicated board.
As described above, the advantage is that system design can be done easily and in a relatively short period of time.
Central processing unit (CPU) boards are used as controllers for consumer devices with single-chip microcontrollers or for larger-scale business systems.
Usually, when developing a single-chip microcontroller, the circuit must first be designed according to the product specifications. After the circuit design is completed, the board is then designed and prepared. This process alone will take a considerable amount of time.
After that, software to control the microcontroller is installed. Generally, we first prepare the software for hardware testing and debugging, and after confirming that the hardware works as expected, we install the official software and debug the board. After confirming that the hardware is working as expected, the official software is installed and debugging is performed further.
Thus, during board testing, it is necessary to debug both software and hardware at the same time, and if there are defects in both the circuit and software, there may be much time spent in discovering and addressing them.
In such cases, it is convenient to have a central processing unit (CPU) board prepared in advance. The board can be tested in a short period of time by using the device drivers, firmware, etc. that have been prepared in advance, and the designer can concentrate on debugging the software that he or she has developed and complete the design.
Various types of central processing unit (CPU) boards are available from various manufacturers, depending on the application. The main types are:
These boards are installed in industrial PCs used in general industry. Compared to consumer PCs, most of them are more durable and can be supplied stably for a long period of time.
This mainly refers to industrial central processing unit (CPU) boards in which a specific CPU is mounted in a fixed state.
These boards are used for debugging firmware and checking operation as one of the development support tools for embedded devices, rather than for incorporating the board itself into the product. Many of them are small in size.
A central processing unit (CPU) board that functions as a bus system controller.
Whether a single-chip microcontroller or a central processing unit (CPU) board with a large CPU, a central processing unit (CPU) board is equipped with memory, drive units such as HDD/CD-ROM and their control devices, USB drivers, serial interface drivers, ethernet drivers, HDMI interface drivers, and AD/DA converters, which are often used in system development.
In addition, an OS, device drivers for peripheral devices, and firmware are generally provided to operate the microcontroller, CPU, and peripheral devices on these boards.
Windows, Linux, and Android are commonly used OSs for large CPUs.
Those with large-scale CPUs include boards with Intel-based CPUs, Raspberry Pi with ARM processors from ARM, and Arduino with AVR microcontrollers from Atmel.
As mentioned above, central processing unit (CPU) boards generally come with the necessary peripheral hardware and software in advance, so designers can combine them to check the minimum operation before starting design.
On the other hand, central processing unit (CPU) boards are more expensive than boards designed by designers themselves because they contain many redundant circuits. Therefore, central processing unit (CPU) boards are best suited when the system design period is limited or when the production quantity is limited and the design must be completed in a short period of time, even if the unit price is slightly higher. On the other hand, under extremely cost-sensitive conditions, it is preferable to design a dedicated board by oneself. This is because it is more likely to be possible to design the board at a lower cost.
There are two types of central processing unit (CPU) boards, those that can carry an OS and those that cannot. Typical types are introduced below.
Raspberry Pi: It is likely that many people think of this when they think of central processing unit (CPU) boards. The board can be equipped with Linux OS, Windows IoT Core, etc.
DragonBoard: Equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 410 processor which can run Android.
Arduino: Arduino IDE, a dedicated programming software, is used to write source code to operate the device.
Since there is no OS, this type is best suited for applications that require hardware-oriented operations (electrical signals), such as state detection by switches and sensors.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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