Microsoft .NET Micro Framework Debuts on Analog Devices’ Blackfin Processor
Managed-code application environment gives wide range of developers access to convergent processing platform
Boston, MA — October 28, 2008 — At today’s Embedded Systems Conference, Analog Devices Inc., and AxiomFount Inc. announced the availability of the Microsoft .NET Micro Framework on Analog Devices’ popular Blackfin processors. The move brings the popular managed-code application environment to the world’s only convergent processor family via AxiomFount’s AxiDotNet and integrated .NET Micro Framework solutions. This gives a broad community of application developers easy access to high-performance signal processing resources for the first time through Microsoft Corp.’s widely adopted Visual Studio development tools. The move to host .NET applications on Blackfin processors supports Microsoft’s focus on application development for media-rich embedded products applications.
“It is really exciting to see the growth in the capabilities and complexity of today’s embedded devices. More and more embedded applications are integrating rich media features and sophisticated processing needs. The Blackfin processor family is a great platform for supporting these applications, and .NET brings greater programmer productivity, especially when handling increasingly complex programming tasks,” said Colin Miller, product unit manager for the .NET Micro Framework at Microsoft. “With version 3.0 of the .NET Micro Framework, we are continuing to target the needs of embedded developers with advanced programming models. Together we are providing embedded developers with a development environment and a high- performance platform for cutting-edge applications to run on.”
The ability to use Microsoft’s Visual Studio tools with Blackfin devices instantly gives a large community of software engineers, already familiar with server and desktop application development in the Microsoft .NET environment, access to the powerful convergent processor family. The ability to utilize the larger pool of .NET application developers in conjunction with specialized embedded developers reduces development costs and schedules.
“In the embedded environment, developing rich media applications with high-end signal-processing algorithms has traditionally required specialized engineering resources,” said Jerry McGuire, vice president of the General Purpose DSP group at Analog Devices. “Bringing the .NET Micro Framework to the Blackfin family opens up convergent application development to a much larger population that includes application developers without traditional embedded software experience.”
The programming abstractions provided by the .NET Micro Framework ease the development of embedded products, allowing applications to be decoupled from the Blackfin hardware. In addition to full integration with Visual Studio, the .NET Micro Framework software development kit (SDK) is equipped with an emulator to simulate targeted hardware capabilities. The framework also enables device developers to connect diverse hardware solutions to virtually any peripheral device through industry-standard communication connections and managed drivers.
With .NET, the majority of Blackfin-based software is developed in the application layer using Visual C#, managed drivers and libraries in the Visual Studio environment; compared to development in C, C++ or assembly code. In addition, new applications and features can easily be added to existing Blackfin-based products with minimal or no effort at the hardware or platform abstraction layers.
Blackfin EZ-KIT Lite evaluation kits supported by AxiDotNet solution can be purchased through Analog Devices, online or through a local ADI sales or Distributor office. A time-limited evaluation version of AxiDotNet solution is available at no cost. Developers can contact AxiomFount (www.axiomfount.com) for one of the complete AxiDotNet solutions packages. The packages are focused on enabling core functions, applicable interfaces and features as generic solutions, as well as solutions with market application focus.
With a clear vision of the future needs of embedded applications, Analog Devices has been the pioneering innovator behind convergent processing – achieving best-of-breed performance, cost-efficiency and power-efficiency for both signal processing and control processing, in a single, homogeneous processor architecture. ADI’s convergent processing approach, embodied in the Blackfin family of processors, has replaced heterogeneous co-processor architectures in thousands of applications and products, making engineering development faster, easier, and less costly.
The Blackfin family is backed by industry-leading tools, starter kits and support including the ADI CROSSCORE® software and hardware tools and the award-winning VisualDSP++® integrated development and debug environment (IDDE), emulators, and EZ-KIT Lite® evaluation hardware.
About .NET Micro Framework
The .NET Micro Framework expands Microsoft’s embedded offerings into a new market of devices that are based on low-cost 32-bit processors and are constrained in terms of memory, battery power or other resources. By providing powerful, modern programming paradigms to this arena, the .NET Micro Framework is aimed at accelerating the innovation of small, connected devices. More information can be found at microsoft.com/netmf.About AxiomFount
Founded in 2007, Ontario Canada based AxiomFount is an engineering design and development company that combines innovation, expertise in software and hardware development, and system integration to provide unique and practical solutions with focus on end-user experience.
About Analog Devices
Innovation, performance, and excellence are the cultural pillars on which Analog Devices (NYSE: ADI) has built one of the longest standing, highest growth companies within the technology sector. Acknowledged industry-wide as the world leader in data conversion and signal conditioning technology, Analog Devices serves over 60,000 customers, representing virtually all types of electronic equipment. Celebrating 40 years as a leading global manufacturer of high-performance integrated circuits used in analog and digital signal processing applications, Analog Devices is headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts, with design and manufacturing facilities throughout the world. Analog Devices’ common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “ADI” and is included in the S&P 500 Index.