Low power and industry application

We are looking into the option of using NETFM for a industrial application. I have tested the environment by getting a Fez Spider board and like the development environment ( .Net, VS ) very much. However I am uncertain if the NETFM/gadgeteer should/can be used in our application or if we are better of using tradition uControllers.

Features that we will need:


If your cell modem has ftp built in then G30 can do everything you asked for. The only thing I am not sure about is catching the first character on wake up but that is easy to test.

Thanks for the reply.

I got some more questions to follow up. However I will first try to describe the two potential projects where it would be very convenient to use the NETFM/Gadgeteer framework. I list some of the key requirements below:
Projects A
[ul]2x UART
Must be very low power when in sleep
Acts as a glue between existing electronics and a Cellular module
Will probably use a Cellular module with AT command for FTP
Will not necessarily need a bootloader[/ul]

Project B
[ul]5x UART
** TTL for GPS
** 2x232/422 for external sensors (must be able to toggle between 232/422 by jumper or software) (up to 115200 baud)
** 2x485 for MODBUS (9600 baud)
USB for debug/upgrade/configuration
Micro SD card
RTC with battery backup
Upgrade from separate software
The whole board must be less than 1mA@ 12V in sleep.

[ul]Do I understand this right that the G30 is the same as the STM32F401RET6? I which case I can find the details specs at the st.com?
Secondly will it be possible to use the NETFM/Gadgeteer with other similar Cortex-M4 models as well?
Do you know of reference projects where NETFM has been used in this type of applications?
For project A and B are there any problems/challenges that you can see using the NETFM rather than a traditional RTOS or plain C on top of bootloader?
We would could be interested in getting engineering service in getting the hardware and NETFM up and running. Do you offer this type of service?



You can potentially use any cortex but you lose the GHI Electronics support, added benefits and features.

Many of our customers work with NETMF and cell networks.

Like everything, there are advantages and disadvantages of using NETMF. Using C#, Visual Studio a,d debugging over USB is priceless and there is nothing like it on the market. However, NETMF in interpreted so speed maybe an issue . In this case, we have RLP for that. There is no straightforward answer to this question but trying NETMF is easy and very cheap. I suggest you start with the G120 development board. And decide from there on what you want to use.

Yes we do. Look for the “services” on the top menu please to learn more about our capabilities.

I’ve been working on a project for a while now that is similar to yours in many respects. As Gus says, the development environment and tight integration with GHI products is worth it’s weight in gold to me. I need a low power sleep mode also but with the pre 4.3 releases, I was not able to get anywhere near 1 mA with either the Spider or the Raptor boards and the standard .NET micro low power functionality. I’d love to hear that 1 mA is achievable at this point. I’d also love to have the same kind of low power UART that some Cortex chips specifically aimed at low power provide (like the old Energy Micro now Silicon Labs and the newer ST L4 parts). With those gizmos you could put the whole controller to sleep except one UART that ran at 32 kHz at incredibly low power and would wake the rest of the controller as soon as any one of it’s input lines changed state. That would be cool. That being said, even if I have to add a cheap simple external sleep controller at some point in the future, I’m literally money ahead with Visual Studio, .Net Micro and GHI.


G30 F401/411 can go into deep sleep and can be woken via an interrupt or RTC alarm. In this state they only draw around 30uA


@ Justin - Good news, you may have just pointed me at my new “cheap simple external sleep controller”. Thanks.

@ Gene - We are seriously considering starting to use the .NET MF framework with our coming projects. We do have quite a bit of experience with general micro controllers and RTOS’s however little with NETMF. Would you be available for a chat about your experience working with this platform?


Sure, send a message to my inbox.

@ Gene - Thanks. Could you send me a message. I am a newbe here so I do not have enough points to send personal messages.


@ jardar - There you go; some newly minted thumbs up points.