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Microsoft and Analog Devices Announce Joint Effort

June 6, 2007

The companies have agreed to integrate the .NET Micro Framework and Visual Studio with Blackfin processors to facilitate the design of small-footprint, low-power embedded systems.


ORLANDO, FL /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Microsoft Corp. and Analog Devices Inc. announced that they are further expanding options for embedded developers through the porting of the Microsoft .NET Micro Framework to Analog Devices' Blackfin processors. Developers of resource-constrained portable devices offering multimedia and other specialty applications will for the first time be able to use Microsoft's field-proven productivity tools, .NET and Visual Studio, with the Blackfin processor, speeding the design of small-footprint, low-power embedded systems.

"The .NET Micro Framework was created from the ground up as a .NET solution for small embedded devices, from industrial sensors and instrumentation to home automation systems and healthcare monitors," said Colin Miller, Product Unit Manager of the .NET Micro Framework at Microsoft. "The addition of Analog Devices' Blackfin to the .NET Micro Framework fold will make high-performance, low-power digital signal processing (DSP) capabilities accessible to developers, using the world-class development tools of Visual Studio."

In addition to being fully integrated with Visual Studio, the .NET Micro Framework software development kit (SDK) comes equipped with an extensible emulator to simulate targeted hardware capabilities. The framework enables device developers to connect diverse hardware solutions to virtually any peripheral device through industry-standard communication connections and custom-managed drivers.

Analog Devices Supports .NET Micro Framework
Analog Devices' Blackfin processors combine high performance, power efficiency, and system integration to enable highly optimized embedded designs without compromise. With power consumption as low as 0.16 mW/MHz (at 250 MHz) and performance up to 600 MHz, applications can add greater signal-processing performance without sacrificing battery life.

"We are pleased that Blackfin will be the first DSP in Microsoft's .NET Micro Framework sphere," said Jerry McGuire, Vice President of the General Purpose DSP Group at Analog Devices. "Developers will be able to work with Microsoft development tools to implement feature-rich products on Blackfin, with the power efficiency, performance level, and system cost that is right for compact embedded applications. For example, one of the exciting possibilities is using Windows SideShow to display information on mobile PCs and portable electronic devices, such as media players, even when those devices are in sleep mode."

Analog Devices also plans to complement the Microsoft .NET Micro Framework SDK with additional development tools for Blackfin developers. The company will announce details as the tools become available.

The Blackfin family offers the functionality of both a 16-bit DSP and a 32-bit microcontroller (MCU) in a unified architecture that handles control-oriented tasks as well as real-time processing of multimedia data flows. System integration includes integrated peripheral options, such as high-speed USB On-The-Go (OTG). Blackfin Lockbox Secure Technology, a combination of hardware and software mechanisms, lets developers implement security measures to protect code as well as content. More information about Blackfin is available on the company's Web site.

About .NET Micro Framework
The .NET Micro Framework expands Microsoft's embedded offerings into a new market of devices that are based on low-cost 32 bit-processors and are constrained in terms of memory, battery power, or other resources. By providing powerful, modern programming paradigms to this arena, the .NET Micro Framework is aimed at accelerating the innovation of small, connected devices. More information can be found on the company's Web site.

About Analog Devices
Innovation, performance, and excellence are the cultural pillars on which Analog Devices has built one of the longest standing, highest growth companies within the technology sector. Acknowledged industry-wide as a world leader in data conversion and signal-conditioning technology, Analog Devices serves over 60,000 customers, representing virtually all types of electronic equipment. Celebrating 40 years as a leading global manufacturer of high-performance integrated circuits used in analog and digital signal-processing applications, Analog Devices is headquartered in Norwood, MA, with design and manufacturing facilities throughout the world.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is a worldwide leader in software, services, and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, Visual Studio, Windows, and SideShow are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

Blackfin is a registered trademark and Lockbox Secure Technology is a trademark of Analog Devices Inc.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.


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