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.NET Gadgeteer — Microsoft's Arduino Killer? 241

mikejuk writes ".NET Gadgeteer is a new open source platform, from Microsoft Research, based on the use of the .NET Micro Framework. It brings with it lots of hardware modules that are backed by object oriented software. You simply buy the modules you need — switches, GPS, WiFi etc — that you need and plug them together. The software, based on C#, is also open source, and comes with classes that let you use the modules without having to go 'low level.' Is this a competitor for the Arduino?"
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.NET Gadgeteer — Microsoft's Arduino Killer?

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  • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @09:42PM (#36967532)

    Look at the specs. Arduino's "beefy" MCU is 16 MHz, 8 bits. This is 72 MHz, 32 bits. Arduino draws a sub-10 uA sleep current. This thing draws a 40 mA (yes, milliamp) sleep current. They're completely different devices targeting completely different markets. Talk of "killing" Arduino is just meant to draw eyeballs and clicks.

  • by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @09:52PM (#36967596)

    16MB - sure, but .NET isn't the most compact code in the world. Nor is the framework - even the "compact" framework sucks up several megs.

  • Re:Honest question: (Score:4, Informative)

    by wagnerrp ( 1305589 ) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @11:35PM (#36968224)

    That's the whole point of the board. It is intended as an Amtel AVR platform for hobbyists to play with. Of course there is no commercial use, because commercial entities would simply fabricate their own system around the AVR microcontroller (and a large number do just this). It's like comparing the BeagleBoard against the use of ARM processors in general.

    This product is positioning itself as a microcontroller platform for hobbyists to play with. That puts it firmly in the same market as the Arduino. Again, if commercial users had a need for such a device, they would fabricate their own system based off the ARM7. Now this chip does have the overhead of the .NET runtime environment. On the other hand, it costs 3x as much, has a 32-bit 72MHz ARM, rather than an 8-bit 16MHz AVR, and some 500x the memory. Less of a microcontroller and more of a minicomputer. It's a considerable step up in capability than the Arduino, so while in the same market, it's not a direct competitor.

  • Re:little pricey (Score:4, Informative)

    by SomePgmr ( 2021234 ) on Wednesday August 03, 2011 @01:50AM (#36968898) Homepage
    Meh, for $120 this thing is probably in trouble anyways. Though that's a shame, more stuff is always better.

    And lets remember, there's already an arduino for "people who've drunk the .net koolaid". The Netduino has been around for a long time. And it's $35.

    http://netduino.com/ [netduino.com] http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10107 [sparkfun.com]
  • Re:Not a chance. (Score:3, Informative)

    by greed ( 112493 ) on Wednesday August 03, 2011 @11:10AM (#36973012)

    I've dealt with .NET Micro Edition.

    We should have got the one that ran the Linux kernel and dealt with JTAG programming and all that. We spent person-months discovering just how badly .NET ME actually worked (like, unidirectional communication--from the board only). Supposedly, the newer .NET ME has that fixed... but the board in question can't be upgraded. It's .NET ME 2.5 or Linux.

    We could, however, re-flash it to Linux with the debug adapter (which we didn't buy) and a JTAG programmer (which we can fake on a parallel port).

    Or, we could buy some microcontrollers for 1/60th the price and do whatever we feel like for [nearly] free--no need for a Visual Studio or Windows license for starters. All you need is one (1) Arduino USB board and you can hook off the USB chip to program any other ATmega MCU--even ones just on a breadboard. (We actually went with a different MCU family 'cause we had access to a universal in-circuit programmer; but Arduino makes bootstrapping ATmega circuits really easy. Well, if you get the Solarbotics one it is--they've put pin headers to break out the necessary lines from the USB chip....) .NET ME was like using a GUI: If you wanted to do things they thought of, it worked more-or-less OK. If you wanted to do something else, you had the wrong product.

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban