Imagination's upcoming Creator Ci40 developer board, which should launch soon, will add support for Google's recently announced Brillo operating system for IoT, and OpenWrt, the popular open source router OS.
Brillo, which supports not just ARM and x86 but also Imagination's MIPS CPU architecture, is a stripped-down Android OS that's supposed to run on low-power Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Brillo is also a competitor to ARM's mbed OS, and it seems more likely Imagination would go with a third-party solution such as Google's Brillo than its competitor's solution. Brillo is also more likely to be embraced by developers, who may already have experience with Android.
Imagination wants to make it easy for developers to build MIPS-based IoT devices by testing their products on the company's upcoming Creator Ci40 developer board. The new board will have a dual-core/four-threads CPU, 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1, and it will support multiple interfaces that developers can use in their testing.
The Creator Ci40 developer board will also support OpenWrt, which is an open source firmware for many routers out there that users can install themselves. Some companies have recently started adopting OpenWrt as the primary OS for their own routers, as well. Imagination seems to want to capitalize on that demand by offering built-in support for OpenWrt to companies that wish to use it in their routers. This would also save those companies the costs associated with developing their own router firmware.
According to Imagination, OpenWrt's small size and modular architecture is ideal for routers with limited storage and memory. Developers can connect and send commands to OpenWrt-based devices either through a command-line tool or through the LuCI web interface. They can then install packages from the 3,500 available for installation via the opkg package management system.
Just like the previous generation board, the Creator Ci20, the new Creator Ci40 will also support Debian, another popular operating system with developers. Those who are interested in knowing when the new MIPS-based developer board will appear can sign-up on Imagination's page for the new Creator Ci40.
Lucian Armasu joined Tom’s Hardware in early 2014. He writes news stories on mobile, chipsets, security, privacy, and anything else that might be of interest to him from the technology world. Outside of Tom’s Hardware, he dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.