Imagination has recently introduced Creator Ci40, one of the most complete development kits for the Internet of Things.
The package includes three sensors, two battery-powered wireless boards, and a powerful Ci40 IoT hub, providing the hardware components required to quickly prototype IoT wireless devices. In addition, every kit includes a free subscription to FlowCloud, a robust cloud platform for connecting embedded devices to the Internet.
The Ci40 microcomputer has been specifically designed for smart home, IoT and other connected devices (drones, robots, etc.) – but it also has the hardware requirements (802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi, an Ethernet port, SD and USB storage) needed to be used as a high-speed wireless router.
The Creator Ci40 board runs not only Linux (Debian, OpenWrt) but also Brillo, the new operating system from Google. In fact, Creator is one of the few platforms selected by Google to be part of its Brillo golden reference program – these boards will receive regular updates and patches from Google every six months.
Hardware-wise, the microcomputer packs a powerful dual-core chip that has been optimized for IoT and networking applications. Many existing IoT dev boards reuse existing mobile chips but this leads to increased power consumption and short battery life – a phenomenon recently noticed in wearable devices. Instead, Creator Ci40 includes an innovative, custom-built chip called cXT200 that delivers high performance but also includes a balanced feature set aimed at low power consumption and is manufactured using a low power process node from GLOBALFOUNDRIES.
In addition, whereas other boards today might use only 802.11n Wi-Fi or Bluetooth (or don’t have any form of connectivity at all), Creator Ci40 includes a full wireless connectivity package: 802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (Classic and Low Energy) and 802.15.4. The latter represents the foundation for many IoT standards including the Thread protocol, ZigBee and 6LoWPAN (Imagination is a member of the Thread Group as well as the Qualcomm-backed AllSeen Alliance).