Embedded PC with greater energy efficiency

By Control Engineering Staff July 13, 2006

CX9000 from Beckhoff Automation puts PC-based control technology into a compact, I/O bus coupler-size housing. It features a 266 MHz Intel IXP420 CPU with XScale technology that runs Microsoft Windows CE.

CX9000 embedded PC works with Beckhoff’s I/O bus terminals (fully Ethernet compatible) or high-speed EtherCAT I/O terminals to provide a “cost effective and compact Ethernet controller for PLC and motion control applications,” says the company. It requires no external storage media. The device boots the operating system from internal flash memory. Two RJ 45 sockets internally connected to an integrated switch are available in the basic configuration to simplify wiring of several units in a line topology. A 100MB Ethernet connection is standard.

CX9000 is at the entry level of this embedded PC control line, which includes the CX1000 for mid-range applications and the CX1020 for high-end applications. Said Graham Harris, president of Beckhoff Automation: ‘It gives machine builders and users an extremely low-cost entry point to move away from traditional PLCs while staying in synch with the steady march toward open industrial Ethernet for automation and control. Upward scalability is seamless from mid- to high-end embedded PCs and, if needed, several degrees higher through the use of cabinet-mounted industrial PCs from Beckhoff.’ The product includes TwinCAT automation software and costs $500.

Renee Robbins , editorial director, Control Engineering