A Linux PC crammed into a wall plug for $99

The company Marvell posted a press release, unveiling their new product design: it's called SheevaPlug, and it fits a Linux OS (Marvell stated that SheevaPlug will support, "multiple standard Linux 2.6 kernel distributions.") into a device the size of the average wall plug.

This new creation is quite a unique one; it sports a 1.2GHz ARM-based Sheeva embedded processor, 512Mbytes of FLASH, 512Mbytes of DRAM, gigabit ethernet as well as USB 2.0 port, and all you need to do to get it running is plug it into a wall. Unfortunately, Marvell's announcement is only a design reference, but other companies are making products based on the design, with a device called the PogoPlug coming shortly. This could lead to some interesting possibilities, as one could simply buy a 4-way power jack and have their own mini-server farm.

A drawback to the system is storage, but you can't expect a device that size to have much of it; thankfully, with the USB 2.0 port included you can connect a storage device of any size you please, which still would save a lot more space and power than having a full PC.

Marvell has said that the SheevaPlug would use less than 5 watts of power, and if you wish to get developing for devices based on the design you can purchase a development kit from Marvell's website for $99, but you may wish to wait until actual products are released.

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22 Comments

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I think it's a cool idea, about as barebones as it gets for a computer that you can actually use as a server; you supply the storage, of course.

As long as it works as advertised, I think it would be a cool little device to experiment with!

This was done years ago by a completely different company for $99 and has been out for ages, it really is nothing new

that looks just like a standalone Torrent download rig. according to the website

"Standalone Bittorrent BT downloading client -- does not require PC to download files via the BT peer-to-peer network. Downloads to attached storage devices (flash drive, external hard disks, card readers, etc)"

A nice followup would be a thin client into a wall for schools.... no need for a desktop, just a monitor output, USB and a few other ports. Would save a heck of a lot of space.

Sounds good, I hope they sell these in the UK at a reasonable price too when they come out. Should make a good low power always-on SVN server.

Hrm, my WD MyBookWorld runs linux and consumes very little power. I use it to run my web server, ftp server, download torrents, and run Twonky to share files with my PS3 and XBox360.

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't this re-inventing the wheel, per se?

This would be VERY useful I think.. Hook up a ethernet and a USB external HDD and ya got a $99 dollar HTPC media server that uses 5 watts of power. Hook up a USB Wifi and ya got a fully functioning Access Point with a Linux distro on it for chillidog.. I can see this thing taking off very easily.. I would take 4 of them right now if they do get made.. Maybe 5 and setup a system for the car and an inverter. :)

Any why need a screen if its running linux?? Shell into it and there ya go. I can see a lot of uses for this before its even developed.. Expecially if it does infact use a whopping 5 watts of power while running.

As am I...

I can't imagine network administrators jumping for joy at it. Not anything more than just having one to be geeky maybe?

Normal users won't want it as they have absolutely no idea what to do with it. Especially since it is basicallya mini-plugin server.

The question is why does anyone need a mini plugin server? Maybe they did it as a way to show off the possible power savings and power of cell phone targeted CPUs?

shakey_snake said,
...so it's a cell-phone in the shape of a wall plug with no screen or battery...

Am I supposed to be impressed?


Um did you even read the article?

Its a mini server that only requires you to plug into the wall and then stick in a hardrive.

I don't think shakey_snake read it. I've never seen a phone with a 1.2GHz processor. Furthermore, I've never seen a phone over 1GHz at only $99.

The iPhone only has a 620MHz processor underclocked to 412MHz. OK there are better examples I could have used such as snapdragon but a lot of people seem to be able to understand iPhone.

Anyway, this has a 3* clocked processor, more RAM, USB port, smaller form factor, plugs directly in to wall. Best of all, it's 1/8th of the price.

So why are you comparing it to a phone again?