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6/6/2007
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Microsoft Releases SDK For Analog Devices' Blackfin Platform

Developers will be able to use the .Net Micro Framework to create applications for the Blackfin processor using familiar tools such as Visual Studio.

Microsoft on Wednesday revealed that it has made its software development environment for small, embedded processors available for chipmaker Analog Devices' Blackfin platform.

In an announcement at the company's Tech Ed conference in Orlando, Fla., Microsoft officials said developers will be able to use its .Net Micro Framework to create applications for the Blackfin processor using familiar tools like Visual Studio.

Blackfin is Analog Devices' 16/32-bit embedded processor for smart devices such as set-top boxes and industrial sensors. It's also used in consumer appliances. The United Kingdom's Cambridge Audio, for instance, has placed Blackfin processors into CD players that enhance signals from compact discs in order to create higher-resolution sound.

Blackfin is the first digital signal processor to support Microsoft's .Net Micro Framework, which the software maker "created from the ground up as a .Net solution for small, embedded devices," said Collin Miller, Microsoft's product manager for .Net Micro.

Microsoft introduced the environment earlier this year to enable developers to create applications for devices that are smaller than those supported by the company's .Net Compact Framework.

The .Net Micro Framework software development kit comes with a so-called extensible emulator that allows users to simulate application performance on various types of hardware.

The framework also lets developers connect a diverse range of hardware platforms to virtually any peripheral device through industry-standard communication connections and custom drivers, Microsoft said.

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