Patches Posted For Enabling WiFi/Bluetooth With The Once Interesting MIPS Creator CI20

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 16 February 2023 at 06:44 AM EST. 6 Comments
These days the MIPS architecture is dead but eight years ago when the Raspberry Pi, the PandaBoard, and other early Arm single board computers were enjoying the limelight, Imagination Technologies decided to release the Creator CI20 MIPS SBC. It's been years since hearing of the CI20 or dusting off my CI20, but a new patch series this week tries to get the mainline Linux kernel to enjoy working WiFi and Bluetooth for this MIPS single board computer.

The MIPS Creator CI20 was released back in 2015 with an Ingenic JZ4780 SoC with 1.2GHz dual-core MIPS32 processor and PowerVR SGX540 graphics. The CI20 had 1GB of DDR3 system memory and 4GB of flash memory.

The CI20 didn't enjoy much success in the marketplace at least compared to the more popular Arm SBCs. The first CI20 I received was a dud but then an updated version of the CI20 ended up running much better though not exactly having high standards for a 1.2GHz dual-core MIPS32 CPU even in 2015.

Alongside 10/100 Ethernet there is 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connectivity. Surprisingly there are still some tinkering with the CI20 in 2023.

Sent out this week as a "request for comments" patch series is new code for making the WiFi and Bluetooth "basically work" on the CI20. The patch cover letter explains:
"it is now possible to make the CI20 WiFi and Bluetooth setup do something reasonable.

This series adds #clock-cells to the jz4780 and fixes the device tree for the CI20. It contains two ugly workarounds since BL_WAKE and WL_WAKE can not be controlled as shutdown-gpios or device-wakeup-gpios by the drivers. We also update the power setup and sequencing and add a clock chain for the 32 kHz clock. Finally, we enable some required CONFIGs for the CI20.

Tested on CI20 with v6.2-rc6."

So for those still having an obsolete CI20 and wanting to reminisce over MIPS, if these patches get cleaned up for the mainline Linux kernel it may provide a reason to fire up an old MIPS Creator CI20.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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