Single Board Computers

three-amigos

So here are the Beaglebone Black (left bottom) and the Creator CI20 (right bottom) single board computers. Also pictured is my Raspberry Pi B+ and my grocery store loyalty card for scale. Also, I’m hoping that Harris Teeter will cut me a fat check. But mostly it’s for scale.

The Beaglebone Black is courtesy of the Arm Connected Community who very kindly sent it to me free of charge for my Magic Window project idea. The fine folks at Imagination Technologies sent me this preview copy of the Creator CI20 free of charge for my project as well. Seriously, there’s a lot of generosity and support from the companies making SBC solutions! It was a strange week for me because I got these offers at practically the same time. I’m looking at this as a cool opportunity to do a bake off and post my thoughts in this space about how these two boards compare.

The Raspberry Pi is not competing, because it’s my retro gaming rig. But if the Raspberry Pi peeps want to send me a Raspberry Pi 2 B+ I’ll reconsider :-)

My grocery store loyalty card does not support Linux and is therefore disqualified.

Some initial observations:

  • The release version of the CI20 is purple, and it looks amazing! Seriously, take a look: http://store.imgtec.com/us/product/mips-creator-ci20/
  • As you can see, the CI20 is slightly larger. It has WIFI and Bluetooth on board, as well as built-in memory (8GB on the release version, 4GB on my preview).
  • The CI20 is so new that no cases are available yet. I hope this changes soon, says the klutz!
  • Beaglebone Black has a very active support community as well as cases and other peripherals available. Check out my sweet case.
  • The one USB port on the Beaglebone Black is a little bit limiting, especially when compared with two on the CI20 and four on the Pi
  • Both the BBB and the CI20 have beefier processing power than my Raspberry Pi B+, so that’s nice. Raspberry Pi just released the 2 B+ board, which would probably be much more competitive with them. And the arms race continues…

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