These market-leading SBCs simplify new product development and reduce time to market, allowing 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.
Some 50% of professional engineers surveyed by Farnell use SBCs for industrial and IoT – the most popular SBC applications.
SBCs are being used in all stages of product development and production with 23% of respondents using SBCs for proof of concept and 35 per cent for prototyping. 22% 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% ) were professional users and only a quarter were hobbyists or makers (25%). 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.
Other key findings from the survey include:
- Use of Raspberry Pi and Arduino have a similar market share for makers, which suggests that engineers like to use a board they are familiar with from home projects at work.
- About 24 per cent of professionals build their own boards for use with the SBC, demonstrating the benefits of a standard compute platform with custom IO/interface electronics in many applications.
- Reducing time-to-market is a key objective for professionals, with ease of use and familiarity top priorities.
- Only 20 per cent of engineers are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning in their SBC applications.
- High performance AI and more memory were the most common requests for improvements to SBCs.
- Touchscreens are by far the most popular accessory, however cameras and kits for enhancing power supply via battery or solar panels are also in demand.
- Professional users are much more likely to have customised boards than makers.
Farnell is a longest standing Raspberry Pi partner and has sold more than 15 million units to date. Farnell stocks the complete range of Raspberry Pi single board computers including the recently launched Raspberry Pi Pico, enabling customers to build a wide range of devices for professional, commercial, education or home use.