Imagination takes a piece of the Pi with its Creator CI20

imagination takes piece pi creator ci20 mips c120 screen android left rgb
Imagination Technologies, best known for its PowerVR mobile graphics, announced the upcoming release of its first fully functional microcomputer, dubbed the MIPS Creator CI20, which the company is touting as the “perfect Linux anywhere” machine.

The board is just another in an increasingly long line of hobbyist-centric micro PCs that anyone with a passing interest in programming can find hours of entertainment with while tinkering and toying around. We’ve already seen the Raspberry Pi pull off some incredible feats of workhorse wizardry, powering everything from customized cheap tablets for third world students, to a haptically hearty drum kit made entirely out of raw vegetables.

Related: Grab a slice of Raspberry Pi for just $20

According to Alexandru Voica of Imagination, the CI20 will support both the Linux Debian 7 and Android 4.4 KitKat operating systems, and will be completely open source to developers from the moment they pull it out of the box.

“The board can boot operating systems directly from flash memory or from an SD card. OS images are available for Debian 7, Gentoo, Yocto, Arch, and other Linux distros – with Android v4.4 soon to arrive too. The Linux kernel BSP (currently for 3.0.8 and 3.16) is open on github and up-streamed imminently; graphics support includes Xorg-compliant OpenGL 2.1 and OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 drivers.”

Other specs of the microcomputer include a 1.2ghz Ingenic JZ4780 apps processor with a 512kb L2 cache, a PowerVR SGX540 graphics chip, two USB ports, Bluetooth, and even 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity, making the CI20 the first pocket sized PC to offer both options on a single device.

Image: Imagination Technologies
Image: Imagination Technologies

Memory includes 1GB of DDR3 SDRAM, and 4GB of available flash storage. Video output is handled by an onboard HDMI hub capable of supporting resolutions up to 2k, hugged closely by a litany of other I/O choices like SPI, GPIO, I2C, JTAG, infrared, and more.

Those interested in joining the developer program can pre-order their CI20 at the Imagination store today for only $65. That’s a lot more than the Pi, but the CI20 makes up for it with increased flexibility and higher grade components. Only time will tell if inventors and hobbyists are willing to pay out for the more capable hardware Imagination has to offer.

Product Review

Controversy has dogged the MacBook Pro lately. Is it still a good purchase?

The MacBook Pro is a controversial laptop these days -- and that's unfortunate. Due to some divisive changes Apple made to the functionality of the MacBook Pro, fans are more split. Does the 8th-gen refresh change that?

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Relive the 8-bit gaming era with the best NES emulators for Android and PC

For years prior to the release of the NES Classic, emulators have offered a means to every NES game ever created without needing the console. Here are the best NES emulators for Android and PC.

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.

Work and play anywhere with these portable, large-screen monitors

Via a recent and successful Kickstarter campaign by Unick, a new line of portable, large-screen monitors has been announced. The Gemini Taihe line of monitors offers two models: the Gemini FHD and the Gemini UHD.
Product Review

The Digital Storm Aventum X is an unstoppable gaming PC. Trust us, we tried

Packed with dual-Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics card and a 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, the Aventum X is an infinitely upgradeable gaming PC that’s capable of far more performance than you’ll ever need.

It took Dell years to fix 1 problem on its best laptop. Here’s how it did it

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.

Ditch the backdrop from your photos with these handy tools

Need to know how to remove the background from an image? Here's how, whether you prefer to use a premium program like Photoshop or one of the many web-based alternatives currently in existence.

Think someone's leeching off your Wi-Fi connection? Here's how to find out

It's important to find out immediately if anyone is stealing your bandwidth. Here's how to tell if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi using a few simple tools, along with some suggestions on improving security.

Open RAR files with the greatest of ease using these awesome applications

Few things are more bothersome than not being able to open a file when you need it most. Check out our quick guide about how to open RAR files in Windows and MacOS. We will walk you through the process, step by step.

‘Flexgate’ is the latest controversy plaguing some MacBook Pro owners

iFixit recently uncovered a new "Flexgate" issue with MacBook Pros after some consumers reported a "stage light" effect, where the backlighting on the device would fail and cause the bottom of the display to become slightly distorted.

Google Chrome’s latest decision could prevent most ad-blockers from functioning

Google Chrome's newest change is cited as a step forward for speed and security, but could profoundly alter how the majority of ad-blocking extensions operate. The move potentially gives Google more control over which ads can be blocked.

Samsung permits peek at an eye-popping, 15-inch 4K OLED laptop display

Samsung is now preparing for the new OLED laptop trend and is providing a look at an eye-popping 15.6-inch 4K OLED panel that is expected to power larger premium laptops in the new year.