Thursday, February 26th 2009

Marvell's New Marvel Hangs off Your Wall Outlet, Runs Linux

Marvell Semiconductor has come up with a marvel: the SheevaPlug computer software/hardware development kit (SHDK). The initiative puts to use the company's Sheeva ARM processor in a compact unit the size and form of a retro wall-mount AC-DC adapter. Consuming no more than 5 W of power, the unit can function as a full-featured PC, driving Linux. It packs a 1.2 GHz Sheeva ARM processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 512 MB of flash-based fixed storage.

Throwing open the development kit would mean companies wanting to build similar devices based on Marvell hardware. The SheevaPlug is built around the Marvell 88F6000 Kirkwood SoC design that makes use of Feroceon and XScale architectures, both of which are derivatives of ARM. Gigabit Ethernet and USB ports add to the connectivity. With several industry heavyweights such as Microsoft and Google predicting a bright future for cloud-computing, companies such as Marvell can only help but gain interest in developing inexpensive devices that drive the client-side machinery for it. Take a guess on how much SheevaPlug costs: US $100 in single unit retail quantities. What's more, it could be bought in bulk for as low as $50 a piece!

Source: DailyTech
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23 Comments on Marvell's New Marvel Hangs off Your Wall Outlet, Runs Linux

#1
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Many Thanks to lemonadesonda for sending this in.
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#2
VulkanBros
Uhhhh...can´t wait to play Crysis on this "monster" baby.....hehe
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#3
Jizzler
5w - it could be powered by a switch with PoE. Mini-cluster!

'nother pic:

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#4
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: VulkanBros
Uhhhh...can´t wait to play Crysis on this "monster" baby.....hehe
Does your toaster run Crysis? No? Throw it away.
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#5
AddSub
I saw this reported on TechReport.com few days ago. Neat device.
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#6
MopeyMartian
I believe this is what I saw being shown at CES last month. The idea is to run a fileserver from a power socket. Attach a USB harddrive and it's instantly networked with little/no setup. They described it as Slingbox for your files since you (or anyone you authorize) can access your files from any PC. Personally, I like the idea because it's NAS for dummies (like me). :p
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#8
PVTCaboose1337
Graphical Hacker
It would be cool to have one of these in each room of my house!

I hope the HD can be upgraded.
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#9
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
by: Jizzler
5w - it could be powered by a switch with PoE. Mini-cluster!

'nother pic:


yea you just need a lot of powerstrips :roll:
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#10
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
we are going to see a lot more of this kind of thing in the coming years.
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#12
crazy pyro
I bet if you sandwiched bread between the heatsink and the processor it would :).
Anyway, on topic wow, it uses less power than my netbook oh wait, it's got a flash HDD and no monitor oh well.
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#13
zithe
Wow. I don't see why you're attacking this. Look at the power consumption compared to a low power desktop. Almost 100W difference. Look at the size of it. It looks like a slightly over-sized glade plug in. And look at the COST. It's 50 bucks. It costs hardly anything to run, and monitors are not difficult to find.

These things are probably faster than the PCs where my mom works. She's been there a little under 10 years and they've had the same PC's since she started.
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#14
erocker
by: Easy Rhino
yea you just need a lot of powerstrips :roll:
Lol, get yourself a powerstrip and you have a server farm!
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#15
tkpenalty
This is what a nettop is supposed to be like, actually cheap.
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#16
crazy pyro
Hmmm, that's a point first time I've seen an actually cheap computer, you can't even build a cheap ass one on P4 for under £100 (it's hard to source older components).
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#17
Solaris17
Creator Solaris Utility DVD
can someone tell me what exactly this does? doesn look like it has any vid outs. it has an ethernet port and a usb post....what exactly does it do?
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#18
crazy pyro
It may be meant to be a NAS but the small size of storage confuses me, I'd go with it being an INCREDIBLY small NAS.
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#19
lemonadesoda
by: crazy pyro
It may be meant to be a NAS but the small size of storage confuses me, I'd go with it being an INCREDIBLY small NAS.
Quite agree. For a NAS it is quite unconventional. Note that a NAS is only ONE consideration of what it COULD do. It wasnt designed to be a NAS.

As desribed by other posters, you could dangle a USB HDD off it. Or a 32GB keystick. It doesnt make sense as a NAS for multimedia, like storing your ripped movies, it is fine for a "SOHO" NAS of documents and files.

We have used a Buffalo linkstation in our business as a NAS for storing all contracts, invoices, etc. etc. and after 5 years we have used up less than 10GB. And that includes lots of PDF scans.

So a device like this with a 32GB flash disk, USB format or SDHC format, would be dirt cheap to build and you could stick it anywhere.

What else?

1./ Webcam server
2./ Power strip controller via internet
3./ Home webserver/PIM server
4./ NAS over USB (or rather, redesign it and do an all in one box)... put the proof of concept and the FLEXIBILITY of firmware (running Linux) is just brilliant
5./ Router/firewall
6./ Email server
7./ Render farm. I have no idea how powerful these things are... BUT... imagine they "torrented" themselves together somehow across the internet (or even just local LAN) and you would have the possibility of all sorts... from folding, to encoding, to rendering, you name it. You could "buy one for charity" and just plug it in and leave it on.
8./ P2P client
9./ Message server
10./ VoIP server... just stick your USB phone into it
11./ Answer machine/voice-mail

The list goes on... but I stopped at Nigel Tuffnel. :pimp:
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#20
human_error
by: Solaris17
can someone tell me what exactly this does? doesn look like it has any vid outs. it has an ethernet port and a usb post....what exactly does it do?
It's not meant to be used as a stand-alone pc, if you really wanted it with a monitor use a usb monitor/usb vga out, but that's not what it is intended for.

Could use it as a hardware firewall for your home network, convert usb printers into network attatched printers, plug it into a multitude of household appliances and home-made kit such as door locks/sensors, power monitoring, home automation, access point for usb hard-drives, plug in a usb webcam and you have a networked security camera etc.

Stick a usb wireless dongle in and it's become wireless too :) (if there are drivers for the dongle)...

This doesn't look like it's meant to be sold as stand-alone kit for a standard home user, it's more of a programmable device that could be used for lots of different things by enthusiasts/professionals and to be bundled with things like usb printers, usb hard drives, usb modems etc as a common interface for home users to use.


**edit** dammit lemonade beat me to it, shouldn't have spent so long thinking of more uses :p
Posted on Reply
#21
Solaris17
Creator Solaris Utility DVD
by: human_error
It's not meant to be used as a stand-alone pc, if you really wanted it with a monitor use a usb monitor/usb vga out, but that's not what it is intended for.

Could use it as a hardware firewall for your home network, convert usb printers into network attatched printers, plug it into a multitude of household appliances and home-made kit such as door locks/sensors, power monitoring, home automation, access point for usb hard-drives, plug in a usb webcam and you have a networked security camera etc.

Stick a usb wireless dongle in and it's become wireless too :) (if there are drivers for the dongle)...

This doesn't look like it's meant to be sold as stand-alone kit for a standard home user, it's more of a programmable device that could be used for lots of different things by enthusiasts/professionals and to be bundled with things like usb printers, usb hard drives, usb modems etc as a common interface for home users to use.


**edit** dammit lemonade beat me to it, shouldn't have spent so long thinking of more uses :p
i never intended it at all to be a useable computer. i simply asked not because i want another system but because the article did not discuss what this was marketed for and the lack of a vga port obviously ment it was not interfaceable unless used in conjunction with another system. so i was wondering what exactly it could be used for.
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#22
Jizzler
Market = whatever you can do with it :)
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#23
silkstone
This thing has 101 uses. It would be much cooler if it had some sort of video out - even if it were just s-video. You could plug it in next to any tv in your house and stream ausio/video straight to the TV from your desktop
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