Marvell Introduces Plug Computing

Marvell Introduces Plug Computing - High-Performance, Low-Power, Exceptionally Small Computers for Managing and Storing Digital Media Assets

Multiple companies adopt SheevaPlug development platform to showcase new network-based applications that are simple to install and easy to use

Santa Clara, California (February 24, 2009) - Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) today announced its Plug Computing initiative to make high-performance, always on, always connected, and environmentally friendly computing readily available for developers and end-users. A Plug Computer is small enough to plug directly into a wall socket and is designed to draw so little power that it can be left on all of the time. Unlike other embedded devices in the home, it contains a gigahertz class processor to offer PC class performance. This makes it a viable alternative to a PC for any software service.

“There is no doubt that home networks need to become more intelligent and easier to use by offering value added services for the consumer,” said Dr. Simon Milner, Vice President and General Manager of the Enterprise Business Unit, Consumer and Communications Business Group at Marvell. “We have created an open computing platform for developers in a consumer and eco-friendly form factor. Marvell’s goal is to accelerate the development and availability of innovative softwares and services in the home.”

The SheevaPlug development platform uses a Kirkwood embedded processor based on an embedded 1.2GHz Sheeva CPU equipped with 512 Mbytes of FLASH and 512 Mbytes of DRAM. Connection to the home network is via Gigabit Ethernet. Peripherals such as direct attached storage can be connected using a USB 2.0 port. Multiple standard Linux 2.6 kernel distributions are supported on the SheevaPlug development platform enabling rapid application development. The enclosure is designed to plug directly into a regular US wall socket and draws less than one tenth of the power of a typical PC being used as a home server.

“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 aggressively builds its CPU development team and systematically positions itself as a leader in embedded CPU applications,” said Linley Gwenapp. “The Company leverages its low power/high performance CPU expertise to create impressive new platforms such as the SheevaPlug. As a silicon provider, Marvell is providing a flexible platform for a wide variety of applications which serves both consumers and service providers.”

Early adopters of plug computing began to launch Marvell based products at 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.


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

CTERA: CloudPlug, a Cloud Attached Storage appliance, converts any USB drive into a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device with integrated secure offsite backup. CTERA aims the device at service providers seeking to provide online backup services to consumers and small businesses.

Eyecon Technologies, Inc.: Eyecon’s media companion empowers the consumer to use their mobile internet device, such as the iPhone, to manage their connected digital lifestyle. With the SheevaPlug, Eyecon allows the user to discover content from any source including the internet, DVRs, PCs and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices and direct it to any connected media device in the home. This delivers a complete, unified media control experience from the palm of their hand.

Pricing and Availability:
The SheevaPlug development kit is available now for $99 through All the design details and the software needed to develop applications for the SheevaPlug platform are available through the Marvell website.