Conflicting Design Issues for Today's Single Board ComputersBack in the early days of Single Board Computers, the SBC technology-feature envelope was pretty well defined. Boards such as Intel's SBC80/10, an 8080A CPU on a Multibus card, were physically big. They needed large power supplies and fans, and they could do minimal tasks. They interfaced through industrial I/O and, optionally, with a dumb terminal. A floppy disk controller was a two-card set with bit-slice logic that could fry an egg or your finger.
For 25 years now, the SBC technology-feature envelope has expanded to cover more features, less power, smaller size and more for your money. The envelope's evolution was somewhat predictable — next generation SBCs were just like yesterday's SBCs, but smaller, cheaper and faster.
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