NavSpark: Arduino Compatible with GPS GNSS Receiver


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For viewers in some region having problem seeing the above YouTube video, the contents is here: Powerpoint (简体中文), Youku Video (简体中文). NavSpark 点名时间上中文說明:



NavSpark is a small, powerful, breadboard-friendly, 32bit development board that is Arduino compatible, with a world class GPS receiver as on-board peripheral, and under $15.

There is also NavSpark-BD, a variant model having world-class GPS/Beidou receiver as on-board peripheral, that enables you to adopt new GPS/Beidou satellite navigation technology when Broadcom Qualcomm just recently came out with solution supporting Beidou to their tier-1 smartphone customers like Apple and Samsung.

NavSpark puts leading edge satellite navigation technology in the hands of the makers.

Up until now, adding GPS to an Arduino requires additional GPS shield, which adds cost and size. NavSpark has GPS built-in, so there is no need for an additional GPS shield. And it’s cheap enough to leave in any project.

This little NavSpark board packs big features: 100MHz 32bit RISC/FPU, 1024KByte Flash, 212KByte RAM, high-performance GPS, many peripherals and I/O pins. With 32bit processing power, number crunching capability, and very large memory, NavSpark takes your projects to a whole new level.


We have been developing GPS related products for some years. The GPS chipset nowadays are quite powerful. Seeing many small development boards on the market with limited memory space and low computation power, we believe a small low-cost 32bit development board using our new more powerful Venus 8 chip, integrating GPS library into Arduino IDE, offering at near 8-bitter price and with GPS functionality, may serve as an useful and attractive building block for the maker community.

The Venus 8 chip is built with enough MIPS and memory to process signal from combination of 34 GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, and Galileo satellites in parallel simultaneously. It is the reason why it has more memory and computation MIPS than most popular low-cost embedded microcontrollers on the market.

Unsure if there will actually be sufficient interest in small low-cost development board built from powerful satellite positioning processor chip (like GPU used in non-graphic applications), this Indiegogo campaign is our approach to find out.

If you like the idea and find it could be useful for your applications, please support this campaign to let us know. With sufficient interest, NavSpark will go into production and be made available.

The NavSpark is essentially an easy to use, breadboard-friendly version of our Venus838FLPx GPS module with GPS library SDK integrated into customized Arduino IDE.


NavSpark is designed to run Wiring, the same simple code as the Arduino platform. There is no need to learn any new programming language or environment. Your standard Arduino sketches run on NavSpark.




·  Support Arduino IDE (custom integration of Wiring libraries, Windows & Linux)

·  GPS on board

·  Breadboard compatible

·  38mm x 18mm size



·  100MHz 32bit LEON3 Sparc-V8 + IEEE-754 Compliant FPU

·  1024KB Flash Memory + 212KB RAM

·  ~80uA/MHz @ 3.3V

·  Powered and programmed by mini USB connector

·  1 full duplex asynchronous UART

·  1 asynchronous UART transmit

·  2 SPI with master/slave mode configurable

·  1 I2C

·  1 24bit PWM

·  17 digital I/O pins (shared with above functional pins)

·  Atomic clock synchronized P1PPS time reference with +/-10nsec accuracy


NavSpark hardware design files (schematic, board design, and bill of materials) will be released and made available to users. Source code of the customized Arduino IDE will also be made available; the GPS / Beidou / GLONASS navigation kernel library integrated will remain in library file format. Users are free to extend, adapt and redistribute the hardware and software for any projects, commercial or non-commercial.



Data Logger: Log the position, velocity, time information to an external SPI Flash; later read out the logged data to find out where it has been. With UAV, R/C plane, or paragliding, you can replay the flight path. For marathon running or skiing sporting event, each contestant’s performance behavior can be analyzed. It might also help answer question of where the dog has gone during the day…

Outdoor GPS Clock: When gotten position fix, the date and time is always accurate, in sync with the UTC or GMT time. One never needs to manually adjust time once properly programmed, even when turn on after power loss.

Time reference: After getting GPS fix, the P1PPS 1Hz pulse is synchronized to atomic clock within +/-10nsec. Date and time in the NMEA sentence corresponds to occurrence of the rising edge of just occurred P1PPS pulse. Thus for under $20 you have a precision time reference nearly as good as atomic clock to +/-10nsec! For hardware in different locations that need to be time synchronized in operation, this provides a low cost method to achieve it.

Below is a data logger back track device using something equivalent to NavSpark without extra microcontroller. Instead of Venus 822, previous generation 0.13um Venus621 chip is used inside; it has 60MHz 32bit RISC, no FPU, 512KB Flash, 96KB RAM.


For more detail: NavSpark: Arduino Compatible with GPS GNSS Receiver

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer with a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan University. I have written for various industries, mainly home automation, and engineering. I have a clear and simple writing style and am skilled in using infographics and diagrams. I am a great researcher and is able to present information in a well-organized and logical manner.

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