.NET equivalent of ATmega328 w/Uno

What is the equivalent of this for .NET?

I’m looking for the cheapest possible way to run .NET on a tiny device (smaller than Netduino, doesn’t need Ethernet, etc).


$6 vs $30 is pretty drastic though, granted, for the ATmega328 you still must add the cost of a few minor things like a crystal, caps, PCB. Other than price I’d say its a great equivalent.

Is $30 as low as we can get to use C#?

I think GHI is planning a $10 board…
Edit: you can also try using the STM32F4 Discovery… which can be had for free even

There’s nothing equivalent about that comparison. You’re comparing one chip of the Arduino system to the complete NETMF system. For an accurate comparison, you need to compare the complete Arduino system (say a Nano) to the Cerb40. You’ll find they are very close in price.


If you remove the FTDI components from both and want to run a bare bones MCU, they’re still very close. Of course, there are Chinese clones that can get you cheaper on the Arduino. Thank goodness, we don’t have that problem yet with NETMF…

@ dapug - Not as nice for soldering, but…


Why would “Chinese clones” be a problem? More affordable NETMF boards can only make the platform better. Cheaper hardware means wider audiences, which means more development efforts.

The hardware itself isn’t magic at all; it’s a very common and popular microcontroller with the bar minimum supporting components, paired with (depending on mainboard) external flash and RAM, and maybe a power supply and USB bits.

Cerb40, specifically, could be put together quite inexpensively. I would expect a “Chinese clone” to be half the cost or less, given sufficient volumes (and “Chinese clones” would only appear given those volumes). The software is open source, thanks to Oberon and GHI.

I wonder how well the clones would be supported …

Most clones are Arduinos, which gets support from a core group. You can make Arduinos without an engineering or software develop group. There is no support really required, assuming the clone is well make and runs.

MF devices, even with OSHW, still requires a software support group. Seeed was able to make inexpensive hardware, but under estimated the software resources necessary to meet the software requirements. I believe they are leaving the MF market.

While I agree that cheap clones would be good for the end user, they do not really benefit the ecosystem. Massimo Banzi, himself, described this situation the best. When I said “clones” I was really referring to “counterfeits” in his terms. However, the “clones” are also more negative than positive to the ecosystem. I personally, only buy the authentic Arduino devices & derivatives.


[ol]I think Massimo would disagree that Arduino needs no support ecosystem. They’ve built a pretty big one, for a project without any use for it.
When I say clones, I don’t mean counterfeit. I would argue that Seeed exited the Gadgeteer market not because too much support was required, but because the market was too small. If the market was large enough, there would have been plenty of resources to provide the support. Making the hardware cheaper would broaden the market.[/ol]

Massimo himself says clones and derivatives have a place in the market, and derivatives (many of which are specifically designed to reduce costs) “are the products that have also helped Arduino become so ubiquitous”.

I think I disagree… but we will never know for sure what was behind Seeeeeed’s decision.

Of course it does. This is why I only buy official Arduino boards. That support ecosystem doesn’t come for free and buying counterfeit and clones provides nothing to help that system.

I agree with you both on this one. Seeed is clearly in business to make their profits from selling hardware which requires the volume. Adding the software was a bit of an experiment that they also later realized required perpetual support. Gadgeteer modules simply are not going to sell well without a good driver being available for every new Gadgeteer release. They also had a couple failed hardware designs which I’m sure led to a lot of RMAs. Perhaps there was something about NETMF hardware they didn’t anticipate in those designs? I don’t know but RMAs are expensive.

I said nothing negative about derivatives. In fact I said that I buy them regularly. I believe the derivatives have a very good place in any ecosystem as a way of keeping innovation moving. I’m also a big fan of NETMF/Gadgeteer derivatives. However, I’ve never bought a FEZ Hacker… Clones are purely an attempt to directly profit from someone elses work. Sure, they can be really economical for end users to throw in their projects which you could argue builds the community - which has substantial value. However, there’s no argument I can see that would lead to a clone ever supporting [financially] the core support ecosystem.


The equivalent of an ATMega328 + Arduino bootloader is an STM32 running the NETMF for STM32 firmware.

Here’s the cheapest STM32 chip on DigiKey that can run NETMF:

It’s a $5 STM32F103. Here is a much-faster STM32F4:

The F4 is about $11 in single quantities.

To get those working in a circuit, all you’ll need is some decoupling capacitors, a crystal, and a pull-up resistor on reset. This is similar to what you’ll need to get an ATmega328 up and running in a circuit.

If you’re not comfortable making PCBs, however, you’ll find the 64-pin LQFP package difficult to work with. The STM32F4Discovery board is only a few bucks more than an STM32F4 chip, and comes with all the pins broken out, along with an ST-Link debugger. It’s an incredible deal.

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