Single Board Computers: A Guide for Web Developers

Howdy! This collection of Single-Board Computer (SBC) reviews is a resource for people who build for the web. These are in-depth, hands-on adventures with SBC platforms from the perspective of open web technologies. About the Reviews

SBC Reviews

  • The Tessel 2 is a platform that has JavaScript at its heart (although the team that makes it is also doing some work to support Rust). You get to use Node.js and, yay!, there’s npm support. That puts the immense Node.js ecosystem at your prototyping fingertips.

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  • The Intel® Edison Compute module is a small bit of hardware (a “Module on a Chip” or “MoC”) centered around an Intel Atom processor. To make it more useful, you can combine it with a compatible break-out board, for example the Arduino Breakout used in this review. The Edison module itself is dinky—1.4” on the long side—but the breakout board adds a mid-sized footprint (the Arduino Breakout with attached Edison module is postcard-sized, about 3x5”). Thus, the platform as tested here is two pieces: the Compute Module (the “Edison” itself) and the Arduino Breakout board to which it is attached.

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  • The Raspberry Pi 3, Model B is a successor to the Raspberry Pi 2, Model B, part of the exceptionally-popular Raspberry Pi lineup of tiny computers. Pis are just that: computers. And they are the all-time best-selling personal computer in the UK—over 8 million have been sold.

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  • ARTIK is Samsung’s “end-to-end” IoT platform (they like to call it an ecosystem): it includes hardware, software and cloud services. The ARTIK 5 is one of the hardware modules, a capable, interface- and protocol-rich bit of hardware that comes mounted on a pretty burly development board.

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  • The Kinoma Element is a small, JavaScript-powered IoT platform with 16 programmable pins. It’s inexpensive—an Element will set you back about twenty bucks or maybe a little more. It lacks the bells and whistles of its more beefy (and costly) brethren—you won’t find on-board USB, Ethernet, SDCard or other peripheral goodies—but it has the bits needed for IoT products in an efficient little package.

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