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Netduino 2 – Faster & Better for the Same Price.

Netduino 2 – Faster & Better for the Same Price.


Secret Labs has been busy. They updated their flagship Netduino Plus (now the Netduino Plus 2) back in November and they just updated to the Netduino to the Netduino 2! The Netduino 2 features the same Arduino shield pin compatibility, footprint, and .NET Micro Framework programability as the original but adds more speed, code space, and features. This new version packs a new STmicro Cortex-M3 microcontroller running at 120MHz, 192KB of code storage, and 60KB of RAM.  The Netduino 2 also adds two additional GPIO ports over the original bringing the total to 22. The additional two pins also enable the Netduino 2 to be compatible with the latest Arduino R3 complaint shields on the market.

So if you’ve been waiting for a .NET programmable microcontroller with TONS of options for expansion, check out the Netduino 2! We have them in stock and shipping from the Maker Shed. Want even more speed, code space, RAM along with MicroSD and Ethernet? Check out the Netduino Plus 2!

34 thoughts on “Netduino 2 – Faster & Better for the Same Price.

  1. Ben says:

    MIke, this may very well be an absolutely brilliant product, but what Open Source developer in his right mind would commit to an architecture whose core is controlled by a CEO who thinkgs Open Source is a cancer and is un-american, and who keeps extorting money from Open Source developers through patent extortion? And why would an Open Hardware publication like Make support such a product?

    OTOH, if they just get rid of .Net and switch to standard Arduino tools, I’d be the first one in line to use it – I love the fact that it has a direct Ehternet port and the HW specs and prices are perfectly fine.

    1. Brian Jepson says:


      Although Open Source software and hardware are key topics for us, and we strongly prefer things that are both, we don’t entirely exclude closed source hardware or software.

      But Netduino isn’t closed source in either respect.

      The hardware and software are both open source. Sure, the .NET Micro Framework tools and compilers are derived from a closed source project originally created by Microsoft, but Microsoft released it under the Apache 2.0 license, which means we are free to run, copy, distribute, study, change, and improve it; and if necessary, to fork it.

      In fact, I’ve had success getting the tools to run on Linux and Mac OS X using the Mono project. There is only one tool (the Micro Framework Meta Data Processor) that wasn’t written portably, so I still have to run it under WINE because I haven’t found time to port it.

      If you or anyone else is inclined to truly liberate Netduino from proprietary tools, and have a little, er, a lot of, time on your hands, you might take a look at porting that code (unlike the rest of the NETMF, it’s C++ with lots of icky Win32-isms).

      But if not, you can always blow away the .NET stuff on the Netduino and use something like FreeRTOS or compiled C/C++ running on the bare metal.

      The newer versions of Netduino include headers for a MiniJTAG connection so you can open it up a lot more.

      – Brian

      1. Ben says:

        Brian, thank you for that information. It certainly addresses a large part of the technology issue.

        Alas, I don’t have the resources to devote to cleansing this code. And if I did, I probably would choose to spend them otherwise.

        Depending on MS-derived technology is a fundamentally unsound decision by the this team. There’s no reason to support it, and may reasons to avoid it.

        When MS has been cleansed of its current slate of managment (say all of the top 3 layers), and has taken clear, unambiguous, and irreversible legal steps that guarantee that it can never again rattle its patent saber at Open developers (by, for example, refunding all the money they’ve extotrted from Android developers), then I might consider doing otherwise.

        Until then, thanks, but no thanks.

    2. miroslava von schlochbaum says:

      hear-hear — and well said! (this said as a (minor) developer)

      this product in particular does a disservice to the designation of “Open Hardware”.

      now cue the boilerplate response from these guys (who i’m sure are not bad guys; but somehow never understood the whole concept of an Open system. as they insist that the Apache license somehow forgives them the whole .Net requirement)

      1. Brian Jepson says:


        The entire .NET Micro Framework is under the Apache License. It’s not as if you must run the Apache-licensed code under a proprietary .NET system, though most choose to do so. You can have a complete development environment for Netduino that is open source.

        – Brian

      2. Ark-kun says:

        Why are you being so fascist? You should be ashamed.
        Please, listen to Linus Torvalds and heal your hate disease. Let me quote him: “I think the Microsoft hatred is a disease. I believe in open development, and that very much involves not just making the source open, but also not shutting other people and companies out.”

        1. JennaSys says:

          Sadly, after 2 decades of being a Microsoft-only developer I have succumbed to that very disease. I would definitely program in C to the bare metal before I would ever write .NET code for a uC. But that said, I believe competition and variety is a good thing, and the Netduino platform has proven itself to be quite popular. So with that I say: Carry On!

        2. Ben says:

          Because those who fail to heed the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.

          It is not hatred, it’s desire for a non-violent life, which has been threatened by MS on numerous occasions.

          Open developers didn’t pick this fight, nor do we perpetuate it. Both Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer picked it, and keep it going. They have gone way past where they can ever be trusted to be benign.

          When they, and their picked successors are gone from MS management (3 full layers of management would do), when MS has made legal commitments that would keep Open developers safe forever, then we can talk about working with them.

          Until then, why bother? Why spend the time to help those who hate you and what you stand for? To borrow your own terminology, why collaborate with fascists when there are so many other wonderful things we can spend our resources on?

    3. Ark-kun says:

      Please, stop spreading lies and FUD.
      Netduino hardware is open-source. Schematics: ; Board layout:
      .Net Micro Framework is open-source (Apache 2.0 license). Download the source code here
      CLI is open-standard. ECMA-334:
      C# is open standard:

      Ben, stop spreading the FUD. Your behavior is inacceptable as it stains the reputation of the open-source movement. Someone can think that all open-source proponents are like you.

      1. Ben says:

        ARK-KUN, calling me a fascist and calling my statements FUD stains your reputation more than anything else. You would be way more persuasive if you stopped throwing ad hominem around and focused on the issues at hand.

        The point you don’t seem to be getting is that it doesn’t matter whether the Netduino project itself is Open or not. I’m completely willing to believe that it is, and that it can be used in an environment that is 99% Open.

        It just doesn’t matter. By its very reliance on MS technology, .Net, it supports MS’s vile anti-Open actions and policies. Of its own accord, MS has unilaterally declared itself the enemy of Open, and has acted on it for over a decade. Until MS changes in ways that are material and irreversible, why would you support them? Why spend your resources helping someone who hates you? I mean that as a real question. What are your reasons for supporting MS? Are there no other ways of implementing your requirements?

        Remembering history, acting on its lessons, and speaking out on it is not FUD, it’s reasonable and responsible behavior. Truth is an affirmative defense in this case.

        I do sincerely hope that more Open developers are like me in this regard. All the ones that I know personally certainly already are.

  2. fc says:

    That fact that this product produces such trollish behavior is fascinating. I own a Mega, a teensy++, a Due, a Netduino Plus, a Fez II, and a Max32.

    The only product I _want_ to develop on is the Netduino/Fez pair. Why? Because the IDE is an actual IDE, not a slightly better vi. The code is easy to read and easy to write and the IDE makes it even easier still. Think about that for a second.

    These uCs are designed to lower the barrier to entry into programming hardware.

    What good is the 50 various flavors of arduino (1.2, 1.5.2, MPIDE, teensy, etc.. and lets not even talk about beagle, stm32discovery, and so on) which have nuance after nuance making writing anything more than a blinking LED a senior project?

    Fracturing in the arduino software and now in the arduino hardware (5v vs 3v shields) is making developing for arduino a chore. Lack of documentation, or relying on schematics (not everyone is an EE, people) to be the ‘documentation’ of pin layouts is extremely pervasive. Something as simple as a callback (interrupts) is nearly impossible to do in Arduino, poorly documented, and completely different syntax depending on what board you’re using. It’s literally 2 lines of code in .net.

    Now, the Netduino will never replace the arduinos simply because it’s not a real-time language. That’s it. That’s the only reason I own 6 non .net boards and suffer through 1.2, 1.5.2, and the god damn MPIDE. That (‘poorly written’ framework code), along with your blind hate for MSFT seems to be your major complaint against using them.

    Netduino fills a very big need, in my opinion, and calling each other fascists makes both of you two look like morons who don’t seem to understand what this product is capable of doing for the maker community (make more makers) while ignoring what the fully open source (yet still for profit) board manufacturers are failing at. Perhaps you should embrace the fact that this product is more in line with the arduino mantra of availability than you are. Otherwise, what you’re really saying is no different than the haters that state how 555s can produce the same results as most projects featured on this blog.

    1. Ben says:

      @FC. Please go back and re-read my comments. At no time did I call anyone any names.

      I got called a fascist by Ark-Kun, and now a moron by you. And yet, I do not hate you or MS. I simply remember their behavior in the past, and draw reasonable conclusions about their likely behavior in the future.

      It is MS that hates Open development. Their hate has been clearly stated from the top of the company, Steve Ballmer. He’s said it many times in many different ways. His actions in rattling the patent saber at all and sundry are legion. Surely you can Google for it yourself, right? If you need help, please let me know and I’ll be happy to supply search strings.

      I’m asking a simple technical and business question: Why would anyone support an entity that hates them? This is what you’re doing.

      If you have a good reason, let’s discuss it. Fragmentation is certainly a topic we can get our teeth into. IDE is another. My argument against them would be that they are not sufficient to counter-weigh the risk that at some point down the road MS will come knocking at your door with a patent lawsuit, as they have done in the past.

      1. fc says:

        “the risk that at some point down the road MS will come knocking at your door with a patent lawsuit”

        Like they are with Secret Labs? Like they are with GHI electronics? What part of their open source schematics (posted) and source code (posted) don’t you believe in, exactly? Ark-kun already showed you that you’re incorrect.

        You sound a bit paranoid at the very least. And your point is lost because you frame it in the hypothetical future where there is no longer any alternative to the micro framework. In order to continue to believe in your paranoid future, you must suspend the reality that there will always be alternatives.

        But you don’t care about that. You’re main gripe is that its led by the super evil corporation with even more diabolical leaders. You know MSFT has a few million employees, right? And they have a few hundred thousand products, right? And that this product is, by every definition, a loss leader. One could argue that MSFT built the microframework .net port simply to draw in more developers to .Net.

        And so, your original question, “why would anyone choose this platform” is clear: The Netduino is a prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

        Except that that is the Arduino’s mission statement on their front page and that it is more true for the Netduino than it is for he Arduino. MSFT is certainly not be altruistic nor philanthropic, to be certain. However, they have a very easy to use product that is available for free and very capable. Moreover, that product is a net POSITIVE for the maker community.

        I have a suspicion that you are the type of person to hold firmly to his beliefs in the face of evidence of examples to the contrary. So I think I’m done typing now.

        quick inflammatory question: You own any apple products? Chances are that you do. You know who doesn’t give a damn about this conversation?

        1. miroslava von schlochbaum says:

          well i’ve lived long enough to read Microsoft as being more positive for Open source/hardware development that institutions designed for that very purpose… so I guess the petty name-calling here is understood. please at least consider only this much: if your efforts result in a potentially profitable product and some large company merely asserts they own patents that cover these efforts then your excellent creativity is lost. no startup money, no investors, no partners …i’ve had this happen.

        2. Ben says:

          @FC: you just can’t talk without calling people names, can you? Why is it so difficult to believe that a tiger will not change its stripes? Why is it so difficult to accept that a company that has screwed its partners time and time again, as proven in the court of law, will do so to the people the actually, expressly, say they hate? It’s not paranoid if they really are after you :-)

          And MS is. That you think they do not, just means you have not bothered to educate yourself to their history. Look it up on Groklaw, if you want some really juicy legal history.

          Look , I don’t care if you and your buddies lie down with MS, like the proverbial lamb with a wolf, but do please do so with your eyes open. Currently they are wide shut. And do you really need to drag the innocents, those who are too young and too unaware of history, into the pit of despair as well?

  3. Ac says:

    I simply just think Netduino does a poor job of declaring they are NOT Arduino compatible.Ask a noob what a Netduino is, and they’ll say “network capable Arduino”. And I know of 2 newbies who made such purchases.

    Trademark confusion with Arduino, this is.

  4. SteveOll says:

    The netduino looks like a great piece of kit from a hardware and features point of view, but unfortunately it is let down by the fact that the website has very little in the way of example code to help newcomers – compare that to the Arduino website and see how little is there to support someone who takes the netduino plunge. I don’t want to have to trawl a forum just to find out how to read a voltage or have to buy a book which by all accounts is out of date if you go for a newer netduino.

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I am the Evangelist for the Maker Shed. It seems that there is no limit to my making interests. I'm a tinkerer at heart and have a passion for solving problems and figuring out how things work. When not working for Make I can be found falling off my unicycle, running in adverse weather conditions, skiing down the nearest hill, restoring vintage motorcycles, or working on my car.

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