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£62 Plug Computer Debuts In UK

A computer the size of a power plug and costing only a fraction of a traditional PC has been launched in Europe thanks to Marvell Technologies and its Plug Computing push.

Marvell has enlisted the help of Buffalo, LaCie, Seagate and D-Link to sell the product called SheevaPlug and could see a slew of derivatives ranging from ultra low power storage servers to smarter than usual switches.

The US-based company says that the platform is designed to draw so little power - up to a tenth of a normal computer for the same job - that it can be left on all the time. Furthermore, the platform is build around a 1.2GHz Sheeva ARM microprocessor with 512MB DDR2 RAM and 512MB ROM complemented by a Gigabit Ethernet port and a USB 2.0 port.

Dr Simon Milner, vice president of the Enterprise Business Unit for Marvell, said in a statement tjat "The wide range of applications created from the open-developer SheevaPlug platform serves both retail product partners and service providers."

Some partners have already managed to include WiFi compatibility as well as iPhone and Blackberry support (Pogoplug) and surely, Plug Computing partners willing to combine this with Femtocells can't be far behind. It will be also interesting to find out how many can be connected to a single power plug through an adaptor.

You can purchase the SheevaPlug development kit from Globalscale Technologies for £62.02. It comes with a USB Cable, an Ethernet (cat 5) Cable and a CD Containing Software and Documentations.

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Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group, said in a statement: "The Plug Computer is one of the more amazing technologies that have come out this decade and it has the potential to change the world." Truth is that these products are very likely to be restricted to a niche market at first and Marvell did the right thing by enlisting many other partners.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.