Spark Core is a popular Wi-Fi module for the internet of things with a community of over 20,000 developers, but at $39 it may have started to feel a little expensive compared to the new IoT Wi-Fi modules such as ESP82666 or xWiFi, so the company has unveiled a new Wi-Fi board called Photon that’s smaller, better, and cheaper.
Let’s compare Spark Core with the new Spark Photon.
|Feature||Spark Core||Spark Photon|
|Wi-Fi Support||802.11 b/g||802.11 b/g/n|
|Wi-Fi Setup||Smart Config||Soft AP|
|Wireless Module||TI CC3000||Broadcom BCM43362|
|MCU Speed||72 MHz||120 MHz|
|Flash Memory||128 KB||1 MB|
|RAM||20 KB||128 KB|
|VBAT pin exposed||No||Yes|
|Wakeup pin exposed||No||Yes|
So beside slashing the price by 50%, the new board supports 802.11 n, comes with a faster STMicro MCU with more memory, and it adds DAC and CAN interface, as well as access to VBAT and Wakup pins. The Wireless module from Texas Instruments has been replaced by Broadcom BCM43362 module that’s used in products like Nest, LIFX, and more.
They’ll also sell P0 module with Broadcom BCM43362 and STM32F205 as shown in the right of the picture above for $10, and a P1 module with a u.FL connector and an antenna on the board.
Finally the company has launched Spark Dev, a new IDE available for Windows and Mac OS, based on Atom project, which also support Linux based distributions.
Spark Photon can be pre-ordered now for $19 + shipping, with delivery scheduled for March 2015.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.