The Spark Core v0.2.1 has been completed and published to Github. This version will go into small scale production with our manufacturing partner, and if no issues are uncovered, will also be the large scale production version of the Spark Core.
- Incorporated DFM feedback from our manufacturing partner. DFM, or Design for Manufacturability, is an important part of the hardware development process where we work with our manufacturer to identify design choices that might cause failures on the manufacturing line. In our case, this included a lot of little tweaks to increase spacing between parts that were particularly close together.
- Switched to a through-hole USB connector. Micro USB connectors can be tricky, because if they’re used frequently they can get ripped off the circuit board. This has happened to me quite a few times with my Arduino Pro Micros, and at least one of our beta testers has seen this already. We switched to a through-hole part — which means that it has pins that go through holes in the board, rather than sitting flush on top — which will add mechanical stability to the part.
- Selected final part numbers for mass-produced Core, and changed parts when necessary. Selecting components can be tricky business, because there are a number of factors to consider, including specs, quality, price, and availability. We selected parts for the Core such that it is inexpensive to manufacture in China, but parts are also available in the U.S. for folks who want to build their own boards.