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© Spark Core Business | July 19, 2013

Spark Core: Wi-Fi for Everything

A tiny Wi-Fi development board. Arduino + Wi-Fi + ARM Cortex M3 + wireless programming + REST API = awesome.
While Spark Devices was relying on crowdfunding to fuel its strategy, the company managed to get comfortably past its USD 10'000 initial funding goal. (USD 567'968). The Spark Core is an Arduino-compatible, Wi-Fi enabled, cloud-powered development platform that "makes creating internet-connected hardware a breeze", says the team around CEO Zach Supalla.

And this little board packs a PUNCH: with a 72 MHz ARM Cortex M3, the best Wi-Fi module on the market, wireless programming, and lots of pin outs and peripherals, there's nothing you can't build with the Core.

The Core is a totally open source hardware product. All hardware design files (schematic, board design, and bill of materials) and firmware will be open source; the guys even went with open standards (HTTP, TCP, TLS/SSL, Protocol Buffers). The components used are available from any major distributor. The point behind all of this? "We want to make it as easy as possible to extend and improve upon the foundation we've built."

And now down to some technical details and some images.

GENERAL SPECS
  • Arduino compatible (through custom integration of Wiring libraries)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
  • Easy setup over Wi-Fi
  • Developer friendly REST API
  • 128-bit SSL encryption
  • Wireless software updates
  • Breadboard compatible

HARDWARE SPECS
  • 32-bit STM32 72MHz ARM Cortex M3
  • 128KB of Flash memory, 20KB of RAM
  • Texas Instruments SimpleLink CC3000 Wi-Fi chip
  • EEPROM (supplied by the CC3000)
  • 2MB of external flash memory
  • 3.3V DC supply voltage (with on board power regulator)
  • 50mA typical current consumption
  • 300mA peak current consumption (during transmit events)
  • Can be powered and programmed by USB Micro (cable included in box)
  • 8 digital I/O pins
  • 4 PWM pins
  • 8 analog I/O pins
  • UART (Serial), SPI, and I2C peripherals
  • Wi-Fi range of 100-300ft


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