It was bound to happen sooner or later. Marvell Semiconductor
will soon be releasing a complete Linux based computer with decent specs for only $100. This little critter is tiny, and could easily be mistaken for your usual AC "wall-wart" adapter.
Write-ups can be found all over the blogosphere, but one of the best is up on LinuxDevices.comhttp://www.linuxdevi...34061300.html?kc=rss
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.
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.
And also at Heise's h-online.comhttp://www.h-online....puters--/news/112713
Marvell's Kirkwood processor looks to be one of Atom's competitors. Its ARM v5TE compatible Sheeva core operates at speeds of 800 MHz to 1.2 GHz and offers both a Memory Management Unit (MMU) and relatively large caches (L1: 16 KBytes each for data and instructions, L2: 256 KBytes/300 MHz). The memory controller can handle DDR2 SDRAM with a speed of up to 400 MHz via 16 data lines. Interfaces and controllers are particularly abundant. Depending on the version of Kirkwood, there are two integrated Gigabit Ethernet MACs (Media Access Controllers), one or two SATA II ports, a USB 2.0 host controller and an SDIO controller for memory cards, as well as a PCI Express x1 cards used for connecting components like a WLAN adapter. The SATA ports can reportedly handle more than two hard disks via port multipliers – which can also be obtained from Marvell.
Full functional specifications can be found on Marvell's website:http://www.globalsca...evaplug-dev-kit.aspx
One example of how it can be used is as a web-enabled (NAS) network attached storage device.
A company called Pogoplug ( http://www.pogoplug.com
) is doing just that for $79:
The Pogoplug is a small device that plugs into your wall, and connects to your home router and to any external hard drive. After a very simple setup, you can share and access media and files from anywhere in or out of the home. All you need is an Internet connection!
The Pogoplug is the perfect accessory to your connected life. Imagine accessing all your files and media from any laptop or desktop computer, anywhere in the world. There's even an iPhone application so you can always "phone home" to get your files!
A similiar device called the CloudPlug
will soon be available from Cterahttp://www.ctera.com...ctera-cloudplug.html
No More Servers
The CloudPlug delivers Network Attached Storage (NAS) services, without requiring a separate file server. It reduces hardware and maintenance costs with low energy consumption and a low carbon footprint.
No More Tapes
Backup tapes are a thing of the past. Slow, unreliable, and expensive, they require constant manual care, and unless taken off-site regularly, they are not a viable solution for disaster recovery. There is a better alternative.
The CloudPlug automatically backs up your files, using the CTERA online backup service. Your backup is encrypted using high-grade AES encryption and encoded to maximize bandwidth utilization.
No More Data Loss
Many backup solutions work well for backup, but not so well when it comes to recovery. The purpose of backup is to enable recovery of your data when you need it, yet many backup solutions make recovery unreliable and difficult.
The CloudPlug was designed to make recovery of lost data a breeze. By giving you instant access to previous versions of your files, the CloudPlug enables you to roll back any file – or entire folders – to the way they were just before disaster struck.
No More Frustration
You painstakingly copied the files from your home computer onto a USB thumb drive, only to realize when arriving at the office that you forgot to take the USB thumb drive with you. With CTERA's technology, users can access their files from anywhere. Moreover, CTERA's appliances also serve as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) gateways, so access is secure and tightly controlled, with no need for a additional VPN layers
* Turns any USB drive to a Network Attached Storage device for file sharing
* Performs automatic and secure online backup to the cloud
* Easily restores data snapshots
* Provides secure access to files from anywhere
* No desktop software to install
* USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet
* Tiny form-factor, low-power consumption
* Ideal for 1-5 users
Other companies are planning media servers and additional products based on this device.
Makes me wonder if this little gadget could turn out to be the real "Killer" app that Linux has been looking for.