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SkyTraq Seeks Crowdfunding for Location-Sensing Development Board

January 3, 2014  - By

NavsparkSkyTraq Technology, Inc., a fabless GNSS positioning technology company, is undertaking a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to explore if there is sufficient interest in applying GPS/GNSS processor technology beyond traditional ways by offering NavSpark, a small, powerful, thumb-sized, 32-bit, microcontroller development board with GPS/GNSS receiver as onboard peripheral. With price approaching an 8-bit microcontroller development board, the GPS/GNSS receiver is effectively provided to users free of charge. They are seeking $27,000 in funding until February 6, 2014.

NavSpark features:

  • 100MHz 32bit RISC Processor with 16Kbyte I-Cache and 2Kbyte D-Cache

  • IEEE-754 Compliant Floating Point Unit

  • 1MByte Flash Memory

  • 212Kbyte SRAM

  • GPS Receiver

  • UART x 2

  • SPI x 2

  • I2C x 1

  • 17 Digital I/O (shared with above functional pins)

  • 1 Pulse Per Sec Timing Reference with +/-10nsec Accuracy

  • Customized Arduino IDE with GPS SDK Seamlessly Integrated

NavSpark-BD model has a GPS/Beidou receiver onboard, enabling users to use the latest GPS/Beidou navigation technology just as large smartphone makers are beginning to adopt this new technology. The NavSpark-GL model has GPS/GLONASS receiver onboard, enabling users to use dual-satellite navigation technology, GPS/GLONASS as used in high-end smartphones, in their hardware projects. The NavSpark development board makes the latest global navigation satellite technology easily accessible.

SkyTraq’s 7mm x 7mm QFN56 Venus822 quad-mode GPS/GNSS processor with extended I/O pins is used on NavSpark. Venus822 is designed to simultaneously process 34 GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo/QZSS/SBAS signals in parallel, thus having much higher computation power and larger memory than conventional 8-bit or 32-bit microcontrollers. Without using GPS/GNSS function, all the 100 MIPS RISC/FPU processing power and 1 MB Flash + 212 Kb RAM memory capacity is available for user application. When just using GPS-only mode or GPS/GLONASS, GPS/Beidou dual-satellite navigation mode, the remaining MIPS and memory still far exceeds what’s available on similar small, low-cost development boards on the market.

With average price of different model variants plus active antenna in range of $15 ~ $20, NavSpark’s goal is to provide the makers an alternative powerful, small development board with location-sensing capability, and at the same time making latest GPS/Beidou or GPS/GLONASS dual-satellite navigation technology as easily accessible as GPS to the users worldwide.

NavSpark is low cost enough to leave in small hardware projects. For higher volume projects such as asset tracker, GPS fitness product, sports performance logger, toy quad-copter autopilot, etc., after rapid prototyping using NavSpark, volume usage can later change to 10mm x 10mm x 1.3mm Venus838FLPx module, a miniaturized LGA version of NavSpark. For applications benefiting from NavSpark’s high processing power and large memory without using GPS/GNSS, volume usage can later change to Venus822 chip to lower cost.

For further information on NavSpark, visit

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