I'm skeptical of the need for this tool. Please, sombody convince me why this might be better than the presently popular C/C++ methods and tools.
When I see anyting smelling of Microsoft coming near resource limited microcontrollers, I start to shudder.
Notice that the port to the STM32F103, one of ST's biggest ARM-Cortex-M3 chips, uses most of the RAM and EPROM, allowing only "a small application" to fit. When we see ARM-Cortex SOCs with gigabytes of EPROM and RAM, these Microsoft .NET frameworks may eventually be practical. For now, FreeRTOS and GNU C/C++ is the best bet.
Please don't confuse the .NET *Micro* Framework with the full .NET Framework for desktops and servers, which is indeed large (several dozen MB).
NETMF is a completely separate implementation. On the custom board mentioned in the article, it takes up about 240 KB of Flash and about 30 KB of RAM, leaving half of the chip's Flash and half of its RAM for the application (more than that on the larger members of the STM32 family). Yet it allows C# source level cross-debugging, breakpoints, etc. from Visual Studio.
.NET Micro Framework
The .NET Micro Framework is .NET for small and resource constrained devices. It offers a complete and innovative development and execution environment that brings the productivity of modern computing tools to this class of devices.
For current .NET developers, this means that they can now create applications that run on a range of devices from targeted devices like remote controls to PCs and Servers and on to the cloud – all with the same programming model and tools.
For current Embedded developers, this means that they can now leverage the productivity gains that have been achieved on the desktop and reduce their time to market.
The .NET Micro Framework is a fully integrated Visual Studio experience brings a reliable and productive development system to the embedded world.
The typical .NET Micro-Framework device has a 32 bit processor with or without a memory management unit (MMU) and could have as little as 64K of random-access memory (RAM). The .NET Micro Framework supports rich user experience and deep connectivity with other devices.
Such devices include: consumer devices, consumer medical, home automation, industrial automation, automotive, sideshow devices / PC peripherals.
to buy .NET Micro Framework Boards visit http://www.netmfdevices.com/eshop/products.php?21
For more on what the.NET Micro Framework is, please go to www.microsoft.com/netmf.
I was unable to find much using the links in the article. The Oberon site is in German, but if you click to the NETMF page, there does not seem to be any download links. Where can we get some useful information about this?