Chapter 6. Single-Board Computers

In addition to boards with microcontrollers and system-on-chips, there is another category of hardware that supports running Node.js: single-board computers (SBCs). SBCs integrate computer peripherals such as graphics cards and embedded memory on a single board. These kinds of devices are more similar to your laptop or desktop PC than they are to an Arduino.

The Raspberry Pi is a well-known example of an SBC. Intel Edison is also an SBC, with integrated peripherals for WiFi and Bluetooth communication.

Working with an SBC often means that you need to put some effort into installing an operating system and configuring it to your network. Getting an SBC to boot can quickly become challenging. Luckily, you will find many users to share ideas and help online. If you have worked with web applications before, configuration of an SBC feels a bit similar to server administration.

When your operating system is booting and you have a working Internet connection, adding Node.js to the device is often the easy part.

The Raspberry Pi

Computers such as Raspberry Pi consume more current (300–500 mA) than a microcontroller (10–30 mA). To work with a Raspberry Pi, you must ensure that your power supply can handle the large current draw of the processor. In addition to a special power supply, you should also have an HDMI cable for adding a display and a USB keyboard to access the device.

Raspberry Pis offer relatively high computing power for network access and ...

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