Research shows widespread demand for low-cost SBCs

September 01, 2021 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Research shows widespread demand for low-cost SBCs
A global survey reveals low-cost SBCs are being used in all stages of product development and production, from proof of concept and prototyping through to production and test equipment.

New research from Farnell, an Avnet Company, reveals that low-cost Single Board Computers (SBCs) are now a valuable building block in all stages of new product development and production. Some 50 per cent of professional engineers surveyed use SBCs for industrial and Internet of Things (IoT), the most popular SBC applications.

The Raspberry Pi is the most popular board with 44 per cent of professional users preferring it to other SBCs. Arduino was ranked second (28 per cent) with Beagleboard in third preference (6 per cent). These market-leading SBCs simplify new product development and reduce time to market, allowing Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to respond to market trends much faster. The survey also indicates that users of Raspberry Pi are most loyal and less likely to use another SBC than engineers who preferred a different product.

SBCs are being used in all stages of product development and production with 23 per cent of respondents using SBCs for proof of concept and 35 per cent for prototyping. Twenty-two per cent use low-cost SBCs in production units, with around 20 per cent of these products produced in volumes of 5K or more per year, and 20 per cent use for developing test equipment and testing.

The global survey ran from March to May 2021 and received nearly 1,500 responses from professional engineers, designers and makers working on SBC solutions. Two thirds of the respondents (75 per cent) were professional users and only a quarter were hobbyists or makers (25 per cent). The questions were designed to understand how popular SBCs from some of the world’s leading manufacturers are being used within professional products and projects.

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