The folks at Marvell have a new miniature computer that is about the size of a network power adapter. The mini computer uses any Linux based operating system which uses the 2.6 kernel. The small computer uses a Marvell Kirkwood processor running at 1.2 GHz, 512 MB each of flash and DRAM. Also included is a USB 2.0 plug and Gigabit Ethernet.
According to Marvell the unit also features:
Plug computing is a logical evolution for the digital home in the same way enterprise applications moved from servers to network appliances,” Mr. Hajime Nakai, Director, Member of the Board, BUFFALO INC. “Marvell is probably the only company that can pack so much processor performance into such a compact form factor.”
“Marvell is a leader in designing high-performance, power-efficient CPUs,” commented Linley Gwennap, principal analyst of The Linley Group. “SheevaPlug leverages this capability to deliver an impressive amount of compute performance in an innovative form factor. As a silicon provider, Marvell is providing a flexible platform for a wide variety of applications that serves both consumers and service providers.”
Early adopters of plug computing began to launch Marvell based products at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2009. These include:
Axentra: HipServ™ software running on a SheevaPlug is a complete home server platform and applications suite that allows OEMs and service providers to quickly go to market with branded home server solutions. This highly secure and stable software platform allows users to easily store, manage, share, view, or listen to digital media content in the home or remotely. www.axentra.com
Cloud Engines, Inc.: Cloud Engines launched the Pogoplug, a new device which connects your external hard drive to the internet so you can easily share and access your files from anywhere. The $99 device won accolades at CES, and the company is taking discounted pre-orders now at www.pogoplug.com.
Besides being compact this mini computer is also frugal when using electricity and uses about 1/10th the juice of a standard system according to Marvell.
What do you think? Do you see a need for this mini computer?