Looking at the photos of the motherboard (now populated), yes they DO appear to have developed the whole computer.
Other than the southbridge (which is a standard PC one). There are a number of FPGA (Programmable logic) chips - one is clearly a Xilinx.
That being the case YES, they have developed a whole computer. Also if you can locate the pictures the layout of the new motherboard has some components "relocated" around the motherboard - so it does appear that they have done at least two Motherboard designs.
That having been said they still have to put one out there (or up for independant review).
As for Castle taking "one year", I think you'll find they were doing work on Iyonix for longer than that. They still had to do some H/ware development and have RO made 32bit compliant and Hardware independant - not a simple or easy task I would have thought.
You'll probably find MD's delays were as much down to "optimistic" time scales and the usual problems associated with designing something as complex as a computer.