The massive success of the Raspberry Pi proved there is a valuable market for the low-cost, low-powered computers aimed at the developer and general enthusiast. And since the release of the Raspberry Pi, there have been a handful of companies attempting to replicate the same sort of success.
Two years after the initial release of the Raspberry Pi, the people over at Imagination Technologies have decided to take the Raspberry Pi as a base and produce their own alternative, known as the MIPS Creator CI20 dev board. It was originally announced back in August this year, however now the company behind the minicomputer have announced that you can pre-order one, with the first batch being delivered January 2015.
As mentioned, the MIPS Creator CI20 is aimed at developers, and when released will be more expensive that the Raspberry Pi, but for that extra bit of money, you are getting quite a lot more in terms of performance and features.
The MIPS Creator CI20, while small, certainly packs a punch when comparing the technical specification. It features a 1.2 GHz Ingenic JZ4780 MIPS32-based dual-core processor with PowerVR SG540 graphics, support for hardware-accelerated 1080p video decoding, and OpenGL ES 2.0 and OpenGL 2.1. Along with this, it also has 1GB of RAM, 4 GB of flash storage and also an SD card slot too. You can connect the device directly to your HDMI monitor or TV and it’s capable of outputting a picture up to 2K in resolution. When it comes to connectivity, users can take advantage of the wired 10/100 Ethernet port, or the integrated 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi with Bluetooth 4.0. It comes pre-loaded with Debian 7 Linux but also supports other operating systems including Yocto Linux, Gentoo and also Android 4.4. Developers who received an early prototype of the device have already been busy porting XBMC, games and also other applications to support the MIPS architecture.
As expected, with a specification like this it wasn’t going to be in the same price bracket as the Raspberry Pi, the device costs $65, but to be honest compared to some other minicomputers that have entered the market it’s not a bad price for what you get.
It you fancy getting your hands on one, you can head on over to the Imagination Technologies store and place your order now.