Will We Marvel At Marvell's Plug Computer?


The device is based on Marvell's SheevaPlug platform. Marvell's plug computer conserves energy and draws less than 5 watts under normal operation compared with 25 to 100 watts for a PC being used as a home server, according to the vendor.

The unit's high-performance Sheeva processor allows the interfaces to operate at wire-speed; therefore, users should experience no performance degradation when using the plug computer rather than a PC. The platform includes Marvell's Kirkwood series system-on-chip design with a 1.2GHz Marvell Sheeva CPU processor equipped with 512 MB of Flash and 512 MB of DRAM. The plug also has a 2.0 USB port, so users can run applications requiring a hard disk or other peripheral. Users won't be running Microsoft Vista, but standard Linux distributions.

The plug computer is inexpensive and has the technology and advancements to run a service on its own. Solution providers can bundle a software service together with a plug computer, providing a simple deployment for a consumer or small business. Specialized plug computers can be targeted at different market segments, allowing VARs to create personalized solutions and deliver the optimal installation and value proposition for customers. In addition, home-office consumers can use the plug for media sharing or backup services.

The SheevaPlug development kit is available now for $99.

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