A motherboard can be defined as a central circuit board creating a complex electronic system from within a computer for example.
A motherboard is vitally important as it provides the electrical links by which the other components of the system talk to each other and also contains the central processing unit, most commonly called CPU and other subsystems such as real time clock for example, and some other secondary interfaces.
They are produced in different sizes and shapes which can be specific to each computer maker. Actually, most computer motherboards are now using a standard form since 2007.
Motherboards are most of the time air cooled with heat sinks often installed on larger chips. Most motherboards also have connectors for additional case fans as well just in case. More recent motherboards now have integrated temperature sensors to detect motherboard and CPU temperatures in order to regulate the fan speed and lower the temperature faster and better. This being mainly due to the appearance of thermal management systems that can now cool down the motherboard and reduce the noise more efficiently for better performances.
A recent study found that some computer crashes and other general issues like screen image distortions or other errors can actually be attributed not to software or peripheral hardware but to the motherboards. So a better performing motherboard is really essential if you want your computer to work properly and longer.
Laptops would usually use a much different kind of motherboard. They usually are miniaturized and highly integrated motherboards specifically designed for laptops. The fact that they are almost unique is actually one of the reasons why laptops are so difficult to upgrade and repair.
As a matter of fact, Industrial motherboards need to be tougher than normal motherboards found in personal computers or laptops. Being used in tougher conditions than standard computer motherboards, industrial motherboards, like industrial LCD displays or Industrial LCD touch screen need to be able to cope with higher temperatures, need to be tougher in case of a shock or a hit, and need to last much longer, simply because they are intended to provide stable motherboard platforms for industrial users who demand long production lifetimes in extreme conditions.
But obviously, a motherboard is not the only component of an industrial computer or other electronic equipment and if the case and the other components are not resistant enough or can not really cope with extreme conditions, everything will break down quickly.