Spark Introduces the Photon, A Wi-fi Microcontroller for $19

Spark Introduces the Photon, A Wi-fi Microcontroller for


Spark has improved and expanded their product line with the Photon wi-fi development board and a pair of new wireless modules for custom circuit boards. The Photon improves on the popular Spark Core microcontroller by adding 802.11n wi-fi connectivity, SoftAP for provisioning, more memory, and a faster ARM Cortex M3 processor. Like the Core, it sits right into a standard breadboard for easy prototyping. And best of all, it can be had for $19.

“We believe that innovation happens when everybody has access to powerful new technology,” said Zach Supalla, founder and CEO of Spark. “If we can give engineers, students, artists, and designers more affordable and easier to use tools, they can focus on what matters, the experience that they’re trying to create.”

Spark expects to start shipping the Photon in March 2015.


When you’re ready to make your own product from your breadboarded project, the new P0 and P1 are components that can be purchased in low volumes or in reels of 500 for manufacturing. Both contain the same core components of the Photon and include free access to Spark’s cloud platform. The P0 will be $10 and the P1 will be $12, both in quantities of 10. The P1 is larger and adds a u.FL connector and an antenna on the board.

“We want to make the path from prototype to production quicker and smoother,” said Supalla. “What started as a simple hacker toolkit is turning into an enterprise-grade solution that’s used by engineers at multinational companies to develop their new connected products. We’re happy to be supporting some of the top innovators in the world.”

Spark’s technology can be found in products like the Nomiku connected sous vide coooker.

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Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

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