Electrical & Computer Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Electro/Information Technology (EIT), 2013 IEEE International Conference on Year: 2013


©2013 IEEE


Most Wireless Sensor Network platforms – such as the Mica, Iris, and Telos B families of motes – use lowpower 8-bit microprocessors which have limited memory and processing capabilities, thus requiring researchers to implement communication protocols and data processing routines using lowlevel programming practices that are tedious and cumbersome. Rich features available in modern desktop operating systems – such as threads, memory management, and exception-handling – are largely absent. The Microsoft .NET Micro Framework implements a scaled-back .NET framework suitable for development on low-cost, low-power wireless sensors, while providing developers a rapid software development environment for prototyping embedded applications. Here, this technology is explored by comparing performance characteristics with those of traditional 8-bit platforms, as well as Sun SPOT, a popular platform that also uses a managed-language runtime. The .NET Micro Framework platform was found to offer researchers the most flexibility in terms of hardware and software prototyping.