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

It's so fast it has a clip-on fan. But the Asus ROG phone isn't just for gamers

Is a gaming smartphone only something a mobile gamer should consider buying? In the case of the Asus ROG Phone, the good news is the device is so capable, and a genuinely impressive all-rounder, that everyone should take a closer look…
Computing

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Computing

Why constrain yourself to one OS? Try one of these great virtual machine apps

Buying a new computer just because you want to utilize another operating system isn't necessary. Just use the best virtual machine applications to emulate one OS inside another -- no matter what your platform or budget is.
Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement, or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Computing

Printing to PDF in Windows is easy, no matter which method you use

Microsoft's latest operating system makes it easier than ever to print to PDF in Windows, but there are alternative methods for doing so, even if you want to forgo Adobe Acrobat. Here's how.
Computing

These are the 5 best free antivirus apps to protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as picking from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Computing

These laptop bags will keep your notebook secure wherever you go

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will update your OG Windows skills

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience.
Computing

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step-by-step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.
Computing

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Computing

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…
Deals

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.