Monday, February 23, 2009

Marvell Introduces SheevaPlug for Mini Home Server

Marvell announced its Plug Computing initiative to make high-performance, always on, always connected, and environmentally friendly computing. A Plug Computer is defined as something that is small enough to plug directly into a wall socket and is designed to draw so little power that it can be left on all of the time. Unlike other embedded devices in the home, it contains a gigahertz class processor to offer PC class performance. Such a device could be used as a home server or network controller.


The SheevaPlug development platform uses a Marvell Kirkwood processor based on an embedded 1.2GHz Sheeva CPU equipped with 512 Mbytes of FLASH and 512 Mbytes of DRAM. Connection to the home network is via Gigabit Ethernet. Peripherals such as direct attached storage can be connected using a USB 2.0 port. Multiple standard Linux 2.6 kernel distributions are supported on the SheevaPlug development platform enabling rapid application development. The enclosure is designed to plug directly into a standard wall socket and is designed to draw less than one tenth of the power of a typical PC being used as a home server.


"There is no doubt that home networks need to become more intelligent and easier to use by offering value added services for the consumer," said Dr. Simon Milner, Vice President and General Manager of the Enterprise Business Unit, Consumer and Communications Business Group at Marvell Semiconductor. "We have created an open computing platform for developers in a consumer and eco-friendly form factor. Marvell's goal is to accelerate the development and availability of innovative software and services in the home."


Early adopters of plug computing began to launch Marvell based products at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2009. These include: Axentra, Cloud Engines, CTERA Networks, and Eyecon Technologies.


The SheevaPlug development kit is available now for $99.
http://www.marvell.com/

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