SheevaPlug: A $100 Linux wall-wart like appliance
Marvell Semiconductor is shipping a hardware/software development kit suitable for always-on home automation devices and service gateways. Resembling a "wall-wart" power adapter, the SheevaPlug draws 5 Watts, comes with Linux, and boasts completely open hardware and software designs, Marvell says.
Designed from the ground up to simplify the management of digital media assets, the Marvell plug computer is designed to be left plugged into a wall socket at all times. The plug uses low power to conserve energy and draws on average, less than five watts under normal operation compared to 25-100 watts for a PC being used as a home server.
In typical use, the SheevaPlug draws about as much power as a night-light. Yet, with 512MB each of RAM and Flash, and a 1.2GHz CPU, the unobtrusive device approaches the computing power found in the servers of only a decade ago.
Furthermore, the platform is available in single quantities, and is priced within reach of students, hobbyists, and tinkerers. Its hardware design is completely open — everything from schematics to Gerber files will be available on a website, Marvell said. For those that do wish to build products on the platform, volume pricing could fall to $50, Marvell expects.
The SheevaPlug is an "ideal platform for in-home service delivery,"