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Development Services

BEAM Ltd is a specialist systems and software development company aiming at the areas of real-time, parallel, DSP and embedded systems, instrumentation systems and Network appliances using the Linux operating system. We are based near Bristol in the UK.

Development Focus

Some of the main areas we have detailed experience in are:

  • Instrumentation Systems
  • Network Appliances
  • Real-time systems
  • DSP Systems
  • FPGA processing systems
  • Parallel Processing
  • Embedded systems
  • C, C++
  • Python
  • PHP
  • Java
  • Assembler
  • Verilog
  • VHDL
  • Linux Systems
  • Linux Device Drivers
  • Linux GUI applications
  • X-Windows internals
  • Communications systems
  • Networking, Internet.
  • Web programming

Example Projects

Systems and Software Development

We are able to undertake all levels of system development from R&D through to production packaged systems, including hardware specification and implementation. We have detailed experience of the Linux operating system allowing us to design and implement real-time 24/7 systems within this environment. Our engineers also have hardware design and development experience. This knowledge provides us with the ability to develop software systems with close hardware interaction and to develop specialist hardware interface components.
Normally the source code for the software we develop is supplied to the client so that they can continue development themselves if they wish although we also are happy to provide flexible and cost effective support contracts. We are also happy to produce software under the GNU GPL or LGPL licenses if required.
Its is normal for us to quote a fixed price for a development contract based on a formally agreed specification, although for smaller items of work, man day pricing can be applied.

Network Appliances and Embedded Systems

BEAM has a good deal of experience with designing and implementing Network Appliances and Embedded systems. A Network appliance is a device dedicated to perform a simple task that is connected to a computer network either using Ethernet or WiFi wireless connections. A Network appliance has simple configuration options and is designed to operate 24/7. They are usually controlled from other systems connected to the network. Quite often these systems are based on low power single board computers, although we have experience in designing systems using standard Intel PC architecture. We have ported Linux to run on a variety of platforms including those based on the ARM and PPC architectures.
Typical Network Appliances include:
Network routers, Network Camera's, Digital TV servers, Network file servers, Data I/O devices.

FPGA Systems Development

In recent years BEAM has been involved in the development of systems that utilise reconfigurable hardware. Specifically field programmable gate arrays (FPGA's). The FPGA solution is suited to many high performance, real-time tasks. They are most suited to tasks where a high level of parallelism at a low level is present.
BEAM has been at the forefront of using these devices within standard Linux based PC systems for real-time data processing applications.

Consultancy Services

Typically, our consultancy service is used by research/development organisations. The customer usually has expert domain knowledge in their application area but lack system expertise, integration expertise, or are short of manpower.

'Kick starting' customer development

A popular option is the development of code in a generic manner that the customer can then take and apply the final tweaks for their final requirements,in a manner of speaking the creation of a template. We sort out the 'nitty gritty' leaving the client the flexibility for the final polish.

Device Drivers

Device drivers bridge the important gulf between hardware and software, where the hardware functionality is mapped onto a standard operating system interface. The hardware background of all our staff is an important factor in producing clean and not unduly complex device drivers. Our goals are reliability, simplicity and maintainability.

Product development

BEAM can provide assistance in the full product development cycle. From client concept to product reality.

  • Reduced learning curve for clients
  • Import of non core domain knowledge
  • Quicker time to market
  • Fixed price contracts ensure cost efficiency
  • Viable alternative to contract staff
  • Retained expertise

We have in-depth knowledge of the working of systems and can produce systems software that can perform for the most demanding applications.

Main Skill Areas

Operating Systems
Linux, Unix, Lynx, Microsoft Windows
Software Languages
C++, C, Python, PHP, Java, Perl, Bash
Web Languages
HTML, Javascript, Java, PHP, Python
Processor Architectures
I386, PPC, ARM, Alpha, I860, 68000, Transputer, 8 bit controllers etc
FPGA Languages
Verilog, VHDL
FPGA's
Xilinx Sparten, Xilinx Virtex, Xilinx Virtex-II, Virtex-II-Pro