Last month I wrote about trying to benchmark the MIPS Creator CI20, a low-cost MIPS development board from Imagination Technologies, but sadly those plans were thwarted by stability issues. Fortunately, it was just a faulty board and the replacement board has been running without any faults.
Since running into the stability issues with the default Debian image on the CI20 last month, Alexandru Voica, the senior technology marketing specialist at Imagination Technologies, has been of great help. The replacement board arrived about a week ago and I've been hammering the board with Linux benchmarks since then and have yet to run into any stability issues or kernel panics.
While explained in the previous article, the MIPS Creator CI20 retails for $65 and features the Ingenic JZ4780 SoC, which packs in a 1.2GHz dual-core MIPS 32-bit processor with PowerVR SGX540 graphics. The MIPS Creator comes preloaded with Debian 7 while Android 4.4 and other distributions are available such as Gentoo, Yocto, and Angstrom Linux. On the board with the Ingenic JZ4780 SoC is 8GB of flash storage, 1GB of DDR3 system memory, 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI output, dual USB 2.0, 14-pin ETJAG connector, and various other expansion headers.
With the new board sent over by Imagination Technologies, it was also the updated CI20 revision. The updated CI20 was announced in May with an improved board layout, improved WiFi connectivity, and there are more mounting holes. The same 1.2GHz dual-core MIPS32 SoC is still at play.
The MIPS Creator CI20 is a fun little $65 board for those wanting to experiment with alternative architectures on Linux.