Imagination’s entry to open-source hosts dual-core 1.2 GHz MIPS processors

December 05, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Imagination Technologies has announced that it is now taking orders for its Creator C120, high-performance, low power development board with advanced graphics, video, audio and a range of connectivity options for applications in the IoT “and beyond”.

Priced at $65/£50 (or euro equivalent) the board is positioned as an affordable micro-computer that runs Linux and Android and enables open source developers, the maker community, system integrators and others to create a wide range of applications and projects, ranging from home automation and gaming to wireless multimedia streaming. Tony King-Smith, EVP of marketing for Imagination, is keen to emphasise that the board is a powerful device that targets the prfessional market as much as the “maker” segment. It draws, he says, on Imagination's large market share (in silicon IP) in the graphics/multimedia and networking sectors. The board’s connectivity options include fast Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0: there is dedicated hardware for 1080p decode. “This is a new way to access the MIPS and PowerVR architectures.”

Tony King-Smith also points to the low power usage of the C120 card as a key enabler; the SoC on the card, which is made by Ingenics in China, hosts dual 320bit MIPS cores and PowerVR SGX540 graphics with support for OpenGL 2.1 and OpenGL ES 2.0. King-Smith expects to attract attention from, “a lot of content [-oriented] people... familiar with the Power architecture. We want to bring the interactive nature of gaming [where Imagination also claims a large presence] to IoT applications.”

Originally introduced in August 2014 through a limited promotional giveaway for university students, developers, hobbyists and partners, Imagination was inundated with enquiries leading to today’s announcement that the Creator CI20 is available to pre-order for delivery at the end of January 2015. This will be the first in a family of boards with different capabilities. Asked if this will include pared-down versions for direct embedding in end-applications, King-Smith says there are no specific plans in that direction, but that the ultimate aim is to promote widespread use of the company’s IP, and Imagination will look at any opportunity which furthers that objective.

This build of the C120 includes