Beckhoff has expanded the “Industrial Motherboards” line of business into an independent product segment, with in-house board development, design and production. Beckhoff can thus offer Industrial PCs and Embedded PCs in all performance classes with motherboards developed in-house.
In addition, the own motherboard and BIOS development initiatives enable Beckhoff to respond more quickly to new technologies in the PC market and to customer-specific requirements. Motherboards and accessories available as stand-alone products from Beckhoff are described below.
Full BIOS source code access for Phoenix and AMI BIOS makes it possible to adapt to special board functions or introduce specific customer requirements. BIOS functionality very much depends on the field of usage for a motherboard: commercial applications typically require a balance between power dissipation and program load, the industrial usage often requires full CPU availability at any time. For example, settings for speed stepping and thermal monitoring need to be adapted in the BIOS to reflect the different usage modes.
ATX, 3½-inch and PC/104 are the supported standard form factors. The 3½-inch form factor is characterised by its compact dimensions and simple cooling adaptation. No specially adapted cables are required for fast commissioning.
In general, Beckhoff provides all form factors with one chipset: the chipset Intel® QM87, for example, is available on all of the above mentioned board shapes. This allows the construction of a family with architecture-identical devices.
Boards are made available for a minimum of five years, based on the general market availability of the components. All components are selected according to the longevity of supply. CPUs and chipsets, for example, are selected only if they are part of the embedded product line of the manufacturer.
Since Beckhoff is using many of the motherboard products in their own PCs, quality is the number one goal. The focus is robustness and reliability; only high quality electronic components are used. All boards must pass a visual, electrical and functional inspection. The manufacturing date and serial number are clearly marked on the boards.
Board and BIOS can be adapted to meet the needs of a customized device. Furthermore, Beckhoff is experienced in designing and producing complete embedded units, including the housing, display, various other electrical and mechanical interfaces, operating systems and application software.
The complete engineering and design cycle as well as manufacturing of the boards takes place in Westphalia, Germany, at two locations: in Münster and at the Beckhoff headquarters in Verl. This local geographical context ensures short turnaround cycles between engineering, production and quality control. It also ensures that reaction time on customer feedback is the shortest possible.