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The market for barebones computers will be getting a new addition soon from Imagination named the Creator CI20. The microcomputer is in many ways an improvement over Raspberry Pi with more processing power, on board storage, and memory. In the past, Imagination has mostly been the developers of MIPS processors and PowerVR graphics cards. For the Creator CI20, MIPS and PowerVR will be brought together “for the first time in the history of computing.”

While Raspberry Pi is currently the market leader for low priced computing, a number of competitors have come along such as The BeagleBone Black, Intel with Galileo and NUC, and Arduino Uno. Unlike Raspberry Pi B+ and the BeagleBone Black which only have ethernet access, the Creator CI20 will have bluetooth as well as wifi access built in.

A limited number of Creator CI20 computers were shipped out to various companies, developers, and academic institutions around the world as part of the initial promotion. Since then, work has already begun on apps for the device, mostly focused on optimizing it for Linux and porting Android applications over. The engineering team at Imagination have been hard at work to get the Android 4.4 KitKat compatible with the Creator CI20. They have recently reported that they “now have all the fully-compliant GPL code (including ART) you need to get up and running.”

The team at Imagination has said that OpenGL 2.1 and OpenGL ES 2.0 are supported by PowerVR SGX GPUs, so several Android and Linux-compatible games can be ported to the device. They say that the Creator CI20 is well suited to OS bring-up and debugging.

Imagination will start shipping Creator CI20 computers in late January for $65 or your regional equivalent.

Here is a list of the system specs:

  • Processor: 1.2 GHz dual-core, MIPS32-based Ingenic JZ4780 SoC, 32kB L1 I- and D-cache, 512kB L2 cache
  • FPU: IEEE754 Floating Point Unit, XBurst MXU
  • Multimedia: PowerVR SGX540 GPU, hardware-accelerated video playback up to 1080p at 60 fps
  • Memory: 1 GB DDR3 SDRAM, 4 GB flash memory, 1 x SD card
  • Audio: AC97 audio, via 4-pin input/output jack and HDMI connector
  • Camera interface: ITU-R BT.645 controller
  • Connectivity: 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Display: 1 x HDMI up to 2K resolution
  • USB: 1 x USB host, 1 x USB OTG device
  • I/O peripherals: 2 x UART, 25 x GPIO, 2 x SPI, I2C, ADC, expansion headers, 14-pin ETAG connector

Full Disclosure: The official Techraptor Twitter account as well as my own have been blocked by Raspberry Pi.

Dan Worcester

Been playing games for over half my life. I like to think that I have a wide variety of tastes in genres, while still being mindful of quality.