Marvell is looking to create a new computing category – plug computers – designed to offer PC-like performance in a tiny space while drawing a fraction of the energy. Dubbed SheevaPlug, this Linux based platform packs a 1.2GHz custom CPU based on the ARM architecture, 512MB of solid-state storage, and 512MB of RAM all inside a tiny “wall-wart” power converter.
It also sports Ethernet and USB 2.0 connectivity so you can connect any type of external storage and turn this into a network attached storage device or media server of sorts – other uses that come to mind include a remote print server or even a low end web server to run tests with. Marvell won’t be selling devices based on SheevaPlug directly but is encouraging manufacturers to build off the platform with a $99 development kit. Cloud Engines’ Pogoplug, for instance, is based on the SheevaPlug platform and basically it connects an external hard drive to the Internet enabling users to share and access files from anywhere.