Geeks With Blogs
Lawrence Ricci

I just revisited the “Micro Framework”- Microsoft’s bootable runtime, essentially an OS that allows managed code to run on small 32bit CPUs, even without Memory Management.  Things are happening

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/netframework/bb267253.aspx

Abstract

The Microsoft .NET Micro Framework is a bootable runtime module that brings the advantages of .NET programming to devices too resource-constrained to run other Microsoft embedded platforms. The benefits of developing with the .NET Micro Framework include the C# programming language, a managed execution environment, a substantial subset of the .NET libraries, and Visual Studio™ deployment and debugging. In this white paper we explain why the .NET Micro Framework is an ideal choice for embedded development and provide technical details of the platform’s Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) and Common Language Runtime (CLR).

“Micro Framework” is an interesting product, it is very low cost, like zero. And it is largely community controlled under the Apache License.  A partner network is building, and the application environment is .NET.

I have been following this for some time, and the community open source approach seems to be working.  There are new features/packages emerging, for example an F# programming language (ARGH! I am still wresting with VB and C#).

Anyway, what I found most interesting was a port to Tron.  Tron is a very popular Japanese open source intuitive.  It is a very real time, very compact kernel, and is, like the Micro Framework, ‘free as beer’.  One limit on MF was it was not real time.  But the merger with Tron may eliminate that problem. 

Certainly, if I were dealing with a consumer product with quantities in the millions (like a SmartGrid device, or a toy) I would seriously consider something out of this technology pool.

Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 8:16 AM | Back to top


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