Back in December 2014 I won a Creator C120 single board computer from Imagination Technologies, a technology outfit based in Hertfordshire (UK).
The Creator C120 is a development board for Linux and Android.
It’s powered by a dual-core MIPS32 CPU (1.2 GHz) and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. Add to that 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB NAND Flash, two USB ports, an HDMI port up to 2k resolution, a full size SD card slot, 10/100 Mbps Ethernet and WiFi connectivity (with Bluetooth 4) and what you’ve got is a very powerful single-board computer.
All that fits within a space that measures just about 4-inches around and cost just US$65.00. That’s more than the Raspberry Pi, but it also is a little bit more powerful. And I didn’t have to pay for it.
On the OS end, it can run Android 4.4 KitKat and any Linux distribution, but comes preloaded with Debian 7 (Xfce desktop) on the on-board flash memory. Figure 1 shows the unit I received with all the socket adapters that came with. It was shipped from the UK, so they made sure that booting it should not be a hassle.
And this shows the unit with the connections in place. At the top end of this image, the full-sized SD card slot is to the right of the two USB ports.
It was connected to a 24-inch display via the HDMI port. The maximum screen resolution (1920 x 1080) was all I could get, but that was not a problem.
An output of df -h showed that the on-board storage still had plenty of space.
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
rootfs 7.4G 732M 6.6G 10% /
ubi0:root 7.4G 732M 6.6G 10% /
tmpfs 100M 704K 100M 1% /run
tmpfs 5.0M 0 5.0M 0% /run/lock
tmpfs 10M 0 10M 0% /dev
tmpfs 200M 0 200M 0% /run/shm
ubi0:boot 32M 3.7M 29M 12% /boot
And because of the low memory footprint of Xfce, RAM usage was well below the 1 GB of RAM that came with the unit.
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 997 393 603 0 0 175
-/+ buffers/cache: 218 778
Swap: 0 0 0
Total: 997 393 603
I really like the Creator C120, but Xfce is not my kind of desktop environment, and so I’m heading out to buy an SD card. The goal today is to install a Cinnamon edition of another distribution and see how the unit handles it. I should be able to post something later today. Meanwhile, more information about the Creator C120 is available here. You may also visit the manufacturer’s website at http://imgtec.com/.