Imagination hopes Creator board will woo IoT developers to its MIPS platform

Imagination's Creator board supports Google's Brillo OS and Thread IoT protocol

Chip maker Imagination Technologies is readying a new development board to help hardware designers connect smart devices to the Internet.

The Creator Ci40 is intended for use in smart home hubs, robots and other connected devices and its main advantage for Internet-of-Things applications, according to Imagination, is how connected it is.

Its array of network interfaces include Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Bluetooth LE (also known as Bluetooth Smart), IEEE 802.15.4 (the physical layer underlying Zigbee) and 6LoWPAN (IPv6 over low-power wireless personal-area network). To make things even easier, Imagination is offering to ship the Creator with a pair of Clicker battery-powered 6LoWPAN boards and three Click sensor modules from MikroElektronika to round out the development platform.

The centerpiece of the board is a custom-built 550MHz, dual-core MIPS chip, the cXT200, giving it enough power to operate as a wireless router running Linux or OpenWrt, and as an IoT hub.

Imagination acquired the MIPS processor architecture in 2012, but the company made a name for itself before that, with the PowerVR graphics processor architecture -- licensed by, among others, Apple for use in its iPad and iPhone.

Rather than try to extend the Apple collaboration into the home automation field, though, Imagination is now courting Google: The Creator board features support not for Apple's HomeKit but for Google's Thread IoT protocol. The board can also run Brillo, Google's IoT OS, and will receive regular updates and patches from Google every six months, Imagination said.

Imagination is selling the Creator boards through a KickStarter campaign -- but it isn't relying on crowdfunding for the capital to produce its first batch: It's using it as a marketing tool, like a number of other established technology companies. Sony has gone so far as to set up its own crowdfunding platform.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?