Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Microsoft .NET Micro Framework 4.0 Source Code

Microsoft .NET Micro Framework - Open Source Microsoft announced the availability of the source code for almost all of the components yesterday:

With this version of the product, we are including source code for almost all of the components under the Apache 2.0 license. This will allow you to debug through the full stack and make whatever specialized changes you need for your specific application. It also means that if you want to run .NET Micro Framework on a processor architecture that is not already supported, you don’t have to wait for Microsoft to build and release the porting kit built with the right tool chain – you can do that yourself.

Together with this release the started the Open Source step:

We want to make sure that people can adapt the product to their needs but at the same time, how do we make sure that there is a core implementation that continues to be sponsored by Microsoft and adheres to the original goals of a high quality platform for small embedded devices. We decided to develop what we are calling the Community Development Model. In this model, there will be a codebase that is shared by the Microsoft and external developers from which we will release versions just like any product team.

There will be a core technology team that is made up of both Microsoft and external participants who will be the gatekeepers of code that goes into the product. The Microsoft engineers will continue to focus on some of the things that only they can do – deep coordination with the rest of the .NET team and collaboration with other Microsoft product teams and some of the more elemental architectural changes. For external developers, we are throwing the door open for you to propose projects that you would like to take on. (I have some ideas already if you need some.) These will be evaluated by the core tech team which will also insure that the result meets the needed quality metrics.

We are developing a web site to manage this community interaction (http://www.netmf.com). The site will be up in about a week with the initial ideas of how we see this community working but like with any community endeavor, we expect that this process will change and refine with your input so please let us hear from you.

And the best thing for going towards production step:

It’s all still free. We announced the removal of the ‘per unit’ royalties from the runtime distribution licenses and the fees for the porting kit last Spring. We continue to follow that path. There will be no fees from Microsoft associated with the use of the platform.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Microsoft .NET Micro Framework 4.0 download available

Today Microsoft announced the availability of the first .NET Micro Framework release which came out since they moved to the Developer Division. The version has a number of neat features, have a look at the following list:

.NET Micro Framework 4.0 features:

  • HTTP and HTTPs: An object model is now provided for handing both HTTP clients and servers, similar to the .NET Framework, with the new types System.Net.HttpWebRequest, System.Net.HttpWebResponse, and System.Net.HttpListener from assembly System.Http.dll
  • Multi-touch: Basic support for multi-touch events, such as moving two fingers on a touch screen, is now provided in the object model and the emulator. Gesture support has been redesigned to be faster and more flexible.
  • Versioning: Versioning has been implemented to strictly identify assemblies by the version number at build time and on the device, and eventually re-deploying missing assemblies. Side-by-side load and bind for types belonging to the same assemblies with a different version number is supported. Support has also been added for assembly naming which includes the version number.
  • Emulator support for SSL and HTTPS: The emulator now explicitly supports SSL and HTTPs emulation.
  • Native XML Parser: The XML parser has been moved to native code for better performance.
  • Native collections: The collection classes have been moved to native code for performance, and have been enriched with Queue and Stack types.
  • Time sync: Devices can use the new Time Sync API to sync the system time with a specified server's time, automatically or manually.
  • Arbitrary display size: A custom heap and allocation area is now provided to support bitmaps larger than 760KB.
  • Large buffers: A new type, Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware.LargeBuffer, is provided for allocating buffers larger than 760KB, which would not fit in the managed heap.  This type is located in assembly Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware.
  • Watchdog and Power Level control: The power level and the watchdog behavior can now be controlled from the managed application using types Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware.PowerState and Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware.Watchdog from assembly Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware.dll.
  • Thick pens and gradient fills: A richer graphic model is now provided for designing widgets and controls.
  • TinyCore performance improvements: TinyCore performance has been enhanced in the area of event dispatching and layout.

The download is separated in several download packages (compared with older versions of the SDK). Here you can find the list of available downloads of .NET Micro Framework 4.0:

Hey, this is a great start in the new week, isn’t it?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New .NET MF Development Kit available – Analog Devices BF518F FMC

ana-DRC-bf518f-fmc-dev Avnet Electronics Marketing has designed and offers a new .NET Micro Framework development kit with great features. The board is using an Analog Devices BF518F low-power Blackfin processor, has plenty of memory, 10/100 Ethernet with IEEE 1588 V2 support, UART, USB, Avnet TFT LCD, and more.

One of the most unique things about the board is the integration of FPGA through the FPGA Mezzanine board.  This supports robust signal processing applications in the target markets of Industrial Automation, Smart Energy Management, Network-enabled Instrumentation, and Test and Measurement equipment.

Have a look at the key features:

  • Operates as a standalone, or as a VITA 57 FMC Mezzanine Module
  • Microsoft .NET Micro Framework ported by Adeneo Embedded
  • 400 MHz ADSP-BF518F Blackfin processor
  • 64 MB Micron PC-133 SDRAM
  • 4 MB Numonyx parallel NOR Flash
  • 4 Mb SPI Flash (internal to CPU)
  • Flexible booting options
  • 10/100 Ethernet with IEEE 1588 support
  • SD/MMC card slot
  • One RS-232 port (DB-9F)
  • One USB 2.0 mini-AB port
  • Supports external TFT-LCD conforming to Avnet LCD Interface (ALI) specification
  • Optional add-on debug agent
  • The development kit includes everything you need to start with a real hardware device. And yes, it comes with the .NET Micro Framework 4.0 (which is currently in beta).