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Many-core machine control

28 November 2014

The new C6670 industrial server from Beckhoff is reported to represent one of the most powerful controllers to reach the market. The solution can be equipped with 12, 24 or 36 processor cores and its memory can be expanded from 64 GB up to 2 TB. The immense computing power provided by the C6670 can be most effectively utilised when each individual core is leveraged to the fullest using the TwinCAT 3.1 automation software platform from Beckhoff.

The Beckhoff "many-core control” concept complies with the company’s consistent and long-term philosophy of centralised control with integrated Scientific Automation. This means that in addition to the machine’s control functions – PLC, motion, robotics, and CNC – further functions such as advanced measurement technology, condition monitoring, and visualisation are all integrated into one powerful software package, TwinCAT, and executed on one powerful CPU. With TwinCAT 3.1 it is possible to optimally utilise all available processor cores by intelligently distributing individual control tasks among them. With the development of the C6670, Beckhoff now delivers the benefits of many-core technology to machine control projects: there are almost no limits on users’ application ideas which can be realised by dramatically faster and more powerful machine control platforms.

The C6670 is the first industrial server offered from Beckhoff. In addition to computationally-intensive control technology, the C6670 can also be used, for example, for complex robotics or image processing applications. Designed for cabinet installation, the server incorporates two Intel Xeon processors, each with 6, 12 or 18 cores, working together on a motherboard with two Gigabit Ethernet controllers and a powerful graphics card. Apart from the massive performance levels delivered by up to 2 TB DDR4 RAM, there are four PCIe x16 Gen III slots, one PCIe Gen III x 8 slot and one PCIe Gen II x 4 slot for multiple interface cards and maximum flexibility.