click boards are entering new territory with the Quail — a development board with four mikroBUS™ sockets and an STM32 MCU, with firmware compatible with Microsoft’s .NET Micro framework for embedded applications (NETMF).
End result: program click boards with C# managed code using the free community edition of Microsoft Visual Studio.
Conceived by the MikroBUS.NET team, the click board and NETMF marriage empowers embedded developers with tools and technologies usually available only to desktop application programmers.
And in works in reverse too — .NET developers will now have a familiar entry-point into the world of hardware.
The success of this concept hinges on the availability and quality of drivers for individual click boards. Things are looking good so far. The MikroBUS.NET team is churning out drivers all the time. About 50 click boards are covered at this time.
The NETMF compatibility is Quail’s key benefit, but its hardware also has merit: The STM32F427 MCU runs at 168MHz, has 2MB of Flash and 256KB of RAM. In addition to four mikroBUS™ sockets, the board’s edges are lined with screw terminals for GPIO connectivity. Of the two USB ports, one is for programming, the other for external mass storage.
See the product page for more details. Links to instructions and links for necessary drivers and assemblies are also provided there.