Monday, June 22, 1970

.NET MicroFramework – Size matters

What?
The .NET MicroFramework is Microsoft's implementation of the Common Language Infrascruture (CLI) for small embedded systems. It brings all the advantages of a Virtual Execution Environment to the world of resource-constrained devices. With a Memory Footprint of around 300KB, it features a restricted subset of the .NET base class libraries (around 70 classes with 420 methods). Due to the limited resources that these types of devices have, a considerable part of the full .NET version had to be removed from the micro version. The Memory Management had to be changed (the Garbage Collector now uses a mark-and-sweep algorithm) and even the Common Language Runtime's execution engine was modified. All with one goal in mind: Efficiency. Can you think of a better way to write code than using Visual Studio and a Managed Programming Language? Can you imagine all the power of .NET running on a device the size of a finger?

When?
June 22nd 2013

Who?
"Hello, I'm César Afonso and I'm a .NETaholic". I hold a graduation in Computer Science from ISEL (Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa) and I'm finishing an Executive Masters in Project Management at INDEG-IUL (Instituto para o Desenvolvimento da Gestão Empresarial). 6 years professional experience, 5 of them at Safira (www.safira.pt). I usually share tech-thoughts (details) in a personal blog (www.cesarafonso.pt) and I currently have 6 MSFT certifications. For everything it meant, my biggest personal (team) moment was in 2008 at Microsoft's Imagine Cup.

Where?
Microsoft's Lisbon Experience.

How?
Top-Down approach. The session will start with a big picture and we will end with some cool details specific to the .NETMF. The introduction will have a brief history about microcontrollers (how did we even get here?) and it will be the bridge to jump right into the Microsoft's tiny framework. We will address specific features of this micro version: Memory management (how the Garbage Collector works), Threading, Intrinsic Types, the Execution Engine, Compiling, Deploying and Visual Studio Integration. Lots of these concepts will be demonstrated in a demo using a device as cheap as 30€. After the demo, some more examples will be shown from other projects using similar devices (some commercial intended, others just pure fun). Inevitably, the differences to the desktop version will be highlighted along the way (new features and omitted ones). Some recent Microsoft developments will also be introduced (bigger virtualization – .NET Gadgeteer). Wrapping up, we'll have a debate where we'll all try to answer to the question "What's the future of the .NETMF?"

How Much?