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Can Imagination rival Raspberry Pi with its £50 MIPS board?

In August this year, Imagination Technologies took the wraps off the MIPS Creator C120; a dev board it said would rival the Raspberry Pi and help provide low cost development systems for users looking to create applications based on its IP technologies.

Nearly four months on, the company has announced that the board is now available to pre-order, with the first shipments beginning in January 2015. 

At £50, the Creator will cost nearly double the price of a Raspberry Pi. However, at a press event held in London yesterday, Imagination was keen to stress the additional benefits it will bring to users. 

The board, which runs both Linux and Android, packs a dual core, 1.2GHz MIPS32 based processor, PowerVR SGX540 graphics, 1GB DDR3 memory, 4GB flash memory and an SD card expansion slot. 

Targeted primarily at Internet of Things applications (surprise, surprise), it also offers dedicated video hardware for low power 1080p decoding at 30fps, and connectivity options including 100Mbit/s Ethernet, high speed Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11b, g and n) and Bluetooth 4.0. 

In contrast, the BeagleBone Black and Raspberry Pi B+ devices only have Ethernet connectors built in. 

Tony King-Smith, executive vice president of marketing for Imagination, said the company was excited to be taking part in the growing open source and maker communities for low cost development platforms. 

"Creator CI20 has been designed for people who want high performance and advanced features for their development projects and to create access at the software and hardware level to allow creativity to come to the fore," he continued. 

While some believe the new board has a place in the developer community, others are sceptical. Chris Green, principal technology analyst at the Davies Murphy Group consultancy, told the BBC that it "just doesn't have the momentum that the Raspberry Pi has". 

"The Creator CI20 is just a product, the Raspberry Pi is a movement," he continnued.

Laura Hopperton

Source:  www.newelectronics.co.uk

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