GHI Electronics is excited to announce its partnership with CSA Engineering and Oberon Microsystems on manufacturing and distributing their Mountaineer mainboards. We are trying our best to push these exciting mainboards through production soon. Expect availability comes in few short weeks.
Mountaineer group announcement http://www.mountaineer.org/news/
Switzerland and Michigan, USA. The Mountaineer Group announces that GHI Electronics will be their preferred partner for the distribution, support, and production of the .NET Gadgeteer mainboards designed by Mountaineer. Thanks to GHI’s efficient production facilities and established distribution network, the high-quality Mountaineer Platform will become available to a far larger audience than the medium to large enterprises and government organizations that the Mountaineer Group usually serves.
I, on the other hand, would like to see fewer different chips. That way, efforts and progress could be concentrated.
The STM32 is a good choice, because it’s VERY widely available, powerful, and available in a vast number of packages and configurations, all of which are compatible software-wise and hardware-wise inside their own families.
About the only thing it doesn’t have is an onboard LCD controller.
In theory, I would also like to see NETMF support for more processor architectures, cores, and microcontroller families. In practice, however, producing a high-quality (i.e., correct, robust, maintainable) NETMF port to another microcontroller family, let alone to another core, let alone to another processor architecture, is a [em]huge[/em] amount of non-trivial work. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Porting NETMF from one board to another within the same microcontroller family is a piece of cake in comparison, often a matter of mere hours.
We knew we would not be able to support more than one microcontroller family. So, after learning the ropes by doing a Samsung ARM9 port, we looked for a Cortex-M family, as the microcontroller architecture most likely to provide long-term investment protection. In the end, we pragmatically selected the product family that a large customer had chosen, after doing their own evaluation. This is the STM32, and for us was the start of [em]NETMF for STM32[/em]. So far we are very happy with this choice.
I think it really makes sense to focus, rather than to dabble with many different choices and risk to get none of them right. For this reason I hope to see many more products based on STM32…
I agree. Let’s perfect a chipset implementation before moving on to another. Just today I had to explain to someone who posted to my blog complaining about Hydra ethernet support vs. Spider ethernet support…
This is great because people asked about this kind of aproach (some modules integrated with the mainboard). GHI took the oficial Gadgeteer way with all modules separated from the mainboard saying this makes it easy to e.g. change power supply. This way we will see if people want the mainboard to be more flexible or more easy.
[quote]GHI’s approach makes sense, as it allows for more options and flexibility (and it follows the spec more closely apparently)
Mountaineer’s approach makes sense, as it potentially reduces cost.[/quote]
That’s exactly as I see it. The “pure atomic” approach optimizes flexibility, the “higher integration” approach optimizes space and cost. Which approach is better-suited depends on the application.