OK – I’m a little behind on this one. The board has been out for a few months. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve to be pointed out. There have been lots of great things going on with NETMF recently here in Microsoft that have been taking up time. We can talk about those later but in the mean time, it's time to resume my blogging.
The new moduel from GHI is called G120 (for the clock rate I guess). The G120 runs a 120MHz ARM Cortex M3 which is almost twice as fast as the venerable EMX module from GHI which runs a 72MHz Arm7. You might notice even a bit more of a performance boost since the instruction set in the M3 is a little more efficient.
The G120 is a surface mount module with plenty of memory (4.5 Mb flash and 16 Mb RAM), and embedded LCB controller, USB Host/Device support, and SD card interface, full TCP/IP and of course GPIO, SPI, I2C, CAN, analog, and PUM support. It’s a nice package for connected device scenarios.
As a surface mounted module, it is not as easy to get your hands around for non-commercial applications but don’t fret, the GHI guys have also come out with a board that includes all the functionality of the G120 but with header so it is easier to connect it up. This is the G120HDR. Besides headers, it has six Gadgeteer sockets (three for LCD, one for power, and two ‘User’ sockets). The ‘User sockets that you can wire as needed to the related header pins. This allows you to morph the socket into any type of Gadgeteer sockt you want. While the G120HDR has Gadgeteer sockets that allow you to connect to Gadgeteer modules, it is not a Gadgeteer mainboard. You will not code using the .NET Gadgeteer SDK but rather directly in NETMF. What you get is an easy way to connect existing modules.
At this writing, there are still a few moving parts in the firmware so look out here to see the latest status and detailed descriptions of the elements on the board and how to use them.