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Raspberry Pi

Raspberry PI is about the size of a credit card, has a 32-bit ARM processor and uses a Fedora distribution of Linux for its default operating system (OS).

BeagleBone Black

BeagleBone Black is a low-cost, community-supported development platform for developers and hobbyists.

Open Source

The term usually means that the information regarding Hardware and Software is easily available. There are no hassles for working with them and you can experiment with them.

AVR

The AVR is a modified Harvard architecture 8-bit RISC single chip micro controller.

BeagleBoard-xM

The BeagleBoard-xM is a 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 core designed with community inputs in mind. This open hardware design brings the previous generations' laptop-like performance and expandability to the next level.

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Embedded - Terminology

An embedded system is some combination of computer hardware and software, either fixed in capability or programmable, that is specifically designed for a particular function. “Embedded” reflects the fact that they are an integral part of the system. In many cases, their “embeddedness” may be such that their presence is far from obvious to the casual observer. A user can make choices concerning the functionality but cannot change the system functionality by adding or replacing software. The software for an embedded system is often referred to as firmware, and is contained in the system’s non-volatile memory.