Six months ago, I had an exclusive First Look at Marvell's prototype plug-in computer, the SheevaPlug. Ever since, dozens of companies have contacted me about their applications. Most recently, CNET reviewed the Pogoplug from Cloud Engines.
That said, it didn't surprise me when Marvell announced Tuesday that 10,000 SheevaPlug units featuring Marvell CPU technology have shipped.
To celebrate this milestone, Marvell also announced Tuesday the launch of its worldwide Plug Computer developer competition, called "Free Your Imagination," to award the most innovative Plug Computing concept submitted.
You can participate or find out more about this competition at plugcomputer.org. This Web site is also the main Web resource for the plug application development community, where members can access software that facilitates the development of the SheevaPlug. Developers can also exchange ideas for free.
While the applications differ from one vendor to another, in a nutshell, Marvell's Plug Computer is a tiny unit, about the size of a small wall-plug power adapter. The little computer, despite its physical size, is equipped with Marvell's 1GHz processor and some 256MB of RAM. The computer also comes with a USB port and an Ethernet port to be best used as a network storage or an Internet-based cloud storage server.
One of the biggest selling points of the Plug Computer is the fact that it uses very little energy and therefore is the cheapest solution to offer users high-performance, always-on, always-connected, and environmentally friendly computing.