When Imagination Technologies first announced their developer program for MIPS Creator CI20 board, they did not disclose the price, but based on the specifications I estimated that a decent price would be $70 o $80. The company has now announced broad availability of the board, which can be pre-ordered for just $65 or 50 GBP depending on the continent you live in, with shipping scheduled for the end of January 2015.
This development board is based on Ingenic JZ4780 dual core MIPS processor with 1GB DDR3, 8GB flash, and features an HDMI output up to 1080p, Audio in and out, a Fast Ethernet RJ45 port, a Wireless module with Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi, an IR receiver, and expansion headers.
Several projects have already been ported by developers who got their free board a few months, ago including XBMC/Kodi, several games such as Spiral Episode 1, and beside Android 4.4 and Debian 7 officially supported by Imagination, operating systems have also been ported to MIPS Creator CI20 with NetBSD, Express Logic ThreadX RTOS, and Haiku inspired from the defunct BeOS.
XBMC 13.2 is not based on the Android version, but based on Debian, as the last blog update posted at the end of October, mentions the OpenGL ES user interface runs smoothly (30 fps @ 1080p resolution), but FFmpeg/Libav were crashing at the time, so video could not be played. Hopefully this is fixed. At least that means that 2D/3D graphics acceleration is working in Linux.
Hardware and software documentation, as well as Debian 7, Android 4.4, and other distributions images and source code are available on MIPS Creator CI20 Wiki. You can also go directly to MIPS github account to get the source code for Linux, U-Boot, mplayer, and others.
If you live in North America, you can pre-order the board for $65, and people living in the European Union or the United Kingdom can purchase it for 50 GBP on the UK store. If you feel lucky, three boards will be given away on a Rafflecopter draw embedded on Imagination Technologies blog post.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.