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Monday, February 7, 2011

DreamPlug puts a 1.2GHz ARM PC in a power outlet – New Tech Gadgets & Electronic Devices |

This is a pretty cool little Computer that runs on Linux!:) I wouldn't mind having a couple of these to use for setting up Media Servers for the House.


DreamPlug puts a 1.2GHz ARM PC in a power outlet

Feb. 2, 2011 (12:15 pm) By: Matthew Humphries

If you want a small PC the most common options are to buy a netbook, or if you want a larger screen a nettop. But there is an even smaller option that does not require any desk space at all: it's called a plug computer.

These tiny machines form part of an over-sized plug and sit in a power outlet. Unlike a typical PC they don't have a video card and therefore no video out. They are ideally suited for use as a web or media server that is always on and always connected. Just plug it in and forget about it.

While there are a few plug computers out there, including the SheevaPlug and GuruPlug, the latest model to become available offers an update to the performance, software, and connections available. It's called DreamPlug, and it offers up some serious computing power using an ARM processor.

Here's the basic spec:

  • Marvell Sheeva core @ 1.2GHz speed
  • Linux 2.6.3x Kernel
  • 512MB 16bit DDR2-800 MHz
  • 1 GB on board micros-SD for kernal and root file system
  • 2 x Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mbps
  • 2 x USB 2.0 ports (Host)
  • 1 x eSATA 2.0 port -3Gbps SATAII
  • 1 x SD socket for user expansion/application
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g
  • Bluetooth BT2.1 + EDR
  • Audio Interfaces
    • Headphone (analogue) out x 1
    • Fiber Optics (SP/DIF) out x 1
  • Jtag and Uart connections for external module
  • 5V3A DC power supply

Marvell introduce the SheevaPlug development platform

Feb. 25, 2009 (10:57 am) By: Matthew Humphries

If you talk about small-footprint computing with most people today they'll likely mention netbooks, but Marvell have taken the size of their latest PC to a point where it doesn't even sit on your desk anymore.

It is called the SheevaPlug and the clue is in the name. This little computer is so small it sits in the power socket much like a large phone charger plug. Inside you get a 1.2GHz ARM processor, 512MB RAM, 512MB of Flash storage, Gigabit Ethernet and a USB 2.0 port. For an OS you get a choice of Linux distributions and power consumption is listed as one-tenth that of a typical PC allowing it to be an always-on solution.

Dr Simon Milner of Marvell commented:

There is no doubt that home networks need to become more intelligent and easier to use by offering value added services for the consumer … 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 software and services in the home.

Marvell is working with a number of third parties to turn this into a range of off-the-shelf products. One example is work being done with Axentra who are integrating their home server solution called HipServ into SheevaPlug. We've also already seen how PogoPlug are taking advantage the platform when they showed off their hardware at CES.

Right now you can pick up a development kit for just $99 which is backed up by a range of software and documentation on the Marvell website. The products produced using the platform will also cost around $99 with Marvell stating the price will fall to $49 eventually.

Read more at the Marvell press release, found via The Tech Report

Matthew's Opinion

GuruPlug Server - The Power to Connect




Compact End-Product Form Factor

  • Professional demonstration of new applications
  • Suitable for initial trials
  • Shorter time to production

Open Source Platform

  • Available at low cost to any interested developer
  • Readily available Linux distribution
  • Community support

High performance with low power

  • Ideal for always-on computing tasks
  • Easier to port existing software without modification
  • Run multiple application concurrently

GHz Classs Processor

  • Wirespeed packet processing
  • Fast response to interactive applications
  • High speed access to USB 2.0 connected storage

System Components


Sheeva CPU Core

  • 1.2 GHz operation
  • L1 Cache: 16K Instruction + 16K Data
  • L2 Cache: 256KB


DDR2 800MHz, 16-bit bus

512MB 16bit DDR2 @ 800MHz data rate

NAND FLASH Controller, 8-bit bus

512MB NAND FLASH: 4Gb x8, direct boot

128-bit eFuse Memory




  • Power input: 100-240VAC/50-60Hz Max. 20W
    DC Consumption: 5V/3.0A Max.
  • High efficiency POL DC-DC converters
Development Interface

  • JTAG and Console comes with
  • UART RS-232, one Mini-USB Port,
  • and a JTAG Port for Debugging and Programming
High speed I/O & Peripherals


    1x eSATA 2.0 port -3Gbps SATAII

    2x USB 2.0

    1x Internal MicroSD Socket for Optional Kernel System

    1x External MicroSD Socket

    RTC w/Battery

Hardware Security Engines

AES, DES and 3DES encryption algorithms

SHA1 and MD5 authentication algorithms







Linux Kernel 2.6.32

Wi-Fi 802.11b/g

Bluetooth: 2.1 / EDR

7x GPIOs for user application- 5 with 3.3V I/O, 2 with 1.8V I/O

Optional with SPI Flash + SD card boot up

UBIFS Flash file system support

NAND Flash boot up


Hardware Block Diagram


GuruPlug Display - DevKit

E-mail this product to a friend E-mail this product to a friend

Rollover Image   


Dramatic  & Green

GuruPlug® Display – DevKit extends the Server applications to show case graphics, media, and audio on High Definition TV and Monitor. Consuming under 5 Watts of power, Always-on and connected "Display Server" enable new class of applications for the cloud computing.


With multiple USB host ports, all sorts of human interface devices, sensor interfaces and innovative control interfaces can be supported. With included Debian Linux Distribution, device driver porting and testing is a cinch.

Start Sharing

Sharing of ideas and digital content for Embedded Applications on a screen can bring novel experiences for Embedded Systems providing solutions for Digital Signage, Medical Instrumentation, Office Equipment, Industrial Automation, eLearning, Robotics, and more . . .

GuruPlug Display - Devkit

  • (1 x 10/100 Ethernet, 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 2.0 – OTG, 1 x HDMI out, 2 x Micro SD, 1 x USB console)
  • Ethernet (cat 5) Cable, USB host cable, USB device cable, HDMI cable
  • Debug interface board, USB-JTAG interface board
  • Universal Power Adapter with US Plug for socket mount or Cable Adapter and Cable for desktop use

Available in US, UK, or Euro Power Adapter

Go there...

Plug Computers
DreamPlug puts a 1.2GHz ARM PC in a power outlet – New Tech Gadgets & Electronic Devices |
Marvell introduce the SheevaPlug development platform – New Tech Gadgets & Electronic Devices |
Axentra® :: Products : HipServ® Home Server 2.0
GuruPlug JTAG
Axentra® :: Store
GuruPlug Server
Marvell: Kirkwood Series

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