Embedded PC series features multi-core processors and extended temperature range

Beckhoff Automation announces new CX2000 embedded PC Series, aims at replacing larger cabinet models.


Beckhoff Automation announces new CX2000 embedded PC Series, aims at replacing larger cabinet models.Beckhoff Automation has introduced its new CX2000 embedded PC series, leading off with three models, including two that implement powerful multi-core processors. The company says that with this boost in performance, these embedded controllers cover performance areas previously reserved for larger, cabinet-mounted industrial PCs, including advanced multi-axis machinery and powerful graphical user interfaces. 

This new series represents the second generation of the Beckhoff embedded PC family which will build on the success of the first. The new CX2000 devices are equipped with Intel processors from the second generation of the 32-nm series (“Sandy Bridge“). Power-saving Celeron variants are also available, making fanless options possible. Their operating systems benefit from the fast, integrated graphic core as well as fast DDR3 memory. The first three devices in the series include:

• CX2020: Second-generation Intel Celeron @1.4 GHz, single-core
• CX2030: Second-generation Intel Core i7 @1.5 GHz, dual-core, and
• CX2040: Second-generation Intel Core i7 @2.1 GHz, quad-core.

The CX2000 housing concept combines a metallic basic housing with front panels made of a special screening plastic and can handle environments with temperatures ranging from -25 to 60 °C.

The basic CPU module from the new series always has one DVI port, four USB ports, and two independent Ethernet ports. A factory-configurable internal slot referred to as a “magic interface” can optionally perform the functions of a wide range of interfaces. For example, fieldbus master and slave implementations are possible, including EtherCAT (slave), Profinet, EtherNet/IP, Profibus, CANopen and DeviceNet, as well as serial interfaces (RS232/RS422/RS485).

The modularity of the CX2000 devices on the left-hand side of the CPU is based on PCI Express as the bus system and offers a bandwidth of 5 gigatransfers per second (GT/s) per PCIe TX/RX channel. This enables the connection of a variety of interfaces; for example, a maximum of four modules each with two independent 1 Gbit Ethernet ports can be connected. Alternately, up to eight serial interfaces can be connected, which are each implemented in pairs as RS232 or RS422/RS485. The number of possible USB interfaces can also be multiplied: four high-speed (480 MB/s) USB 2.0 interfaces can be connected per module.

The basic concept of the embedded PCs is a convergence of standard PC technology with “DIN rail-friendly” design to form a flexible industrial controller. On the hardware side, the devices from the CX2000 series offer I/O support and a direct connection for Beckhoff bus terminals and EtherCAT terminals. Another newly added feature is automatic recognition of the respective I/O system (EtherCAT terminals or bus terminals) in the CX2000 power supply module, which can simplify customer orders and installation. On the software side, the new CX generation also continues exclusive support of Microsoft operating systems with Windows Embedded Standard 7 or Windows 8, depending upon availability.


Edited by Peter Welander, pwelander@cfemedia.com

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