You are on page 1of 22

Acknowledgement

I am greatly obliged to Mr. P Eswaran, Assistant Professor (Sr.G) for providing the much needed encouragement and motivation that lead to the completion of this work. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. S Malarvizhi, Professor and Head of the Department, Electronics and Communication Engineering, for her support and constant encouragement throughout this work. Last but not least, I am grateful to my family and friends for their constant support, love and encouragement without which none of this would have been possible.

Abstract
A plug computer is a small form factor server, intended to provide network-based services within the home. Built on a Marvell system-on-chip, the Marvell plug computer enables high-performance, always-on, always-connected, and environmentally-friendly computing that is readily available for developers. Unlike other embedded devices in the home it contains a gigahertz- class processor designed to offer PC-class performance. The plug computer is suitable for file sharing, running a media server, back-up services, and remote access functions. It can be used as a bridge between home computing devices and Internet-based services. Plug computing is quickly expanding—delivering new devices, services, value-added applications, and advanced network connectivity to users.

2

Table of Contents
Acknowledgement ...................................................................1 Abstract................................................................................2 Introduction...........................................................................4
Key Features And Benefits ....................................................................6

Plug Computer Processors...........................................................7
Kirkwood Family................................................................................. 7 Armada 100 Family.............................................................................. 7 Armada 500 Family ..................................................................................................... 8

Specifications.........................................................................9 Power Usage.........................................................................11 Software..............................................................................12
uBoot............................................................................................ 12 Operating System..............................................................................14 TonidoPlug ..................................................................................... 16 CTERA........................................................................................... 17 Shaspa .......................................................................................... 17 Amahi............................................................................................ 18 Health Monitoring.............................................................................. 19 Meteohub – Weather Monitoring.............................................................19

Applications..........................................................................16

Conclusion............................................................................21 References...........................................................................22

3

Introduction
People everywhere have slowly become accustomed, even addicted to online connectivity. Modern consumer electronic devices, smart phones and social networking have made it easier than ever for people to download and share digital assets with family and friends. With this development, there is a growing need for services to secure and manage these contents easily and reliably. In today’s technology age, personal computers have become indispensable for many consumers to house, backup and share digital content. Laptops and netbooks eventually evolved from the inevitable need for a portable and compact device to run these same functions. Now, the latest breakthrough in computing technology is here in the form of a Plug Computer, a new and innovative device for end users to secure, manage and share digital content seamlessly, conveniently and efficiently. This small, powerful, fist-sized computer plugs into the wall socket and can run network-based services that normally require a dedicated PC. It can run 24/7 and utilizes only asmall fraction (approximately 5 watts) of the energy consumed by an always-on desktop computer or laptop (approximately 25-100 watts), at a fraction of the cost. The size is so compact you can plug two of these devices side by side or form a plug farm on an extension cord without worrying about blocking the adjacent socket space. Have the freedom to use as many Plug Computers (for varied applications) as needed without worrying about wasted space. In a nutshell, the Plug Computer is meant to simplify the management of digital assets by offering PC-like performance at an inexpensive price. A software service can be bundled together with the device and can be targeted at different market segments. Everyday consumers can use the plug for media sharing and backup services. A plug computer is a small form factor server for use in the home or office. Compared to their PC-based counterparts, plug computers are lower cost, consume less power, often do not have a video card, and are intended to be powered up at all times. Although plug 4

computers are often enclosed in an AC power plug or AC adapter, the term "plug" also refers to "plug and play" appliance-like devices which may be in any form factor. Suitable for running a media server, back-up services, file sharing and remote access functions such devices can be used as a bridge between in home protocols such as Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) & Server Message Block (SMB) and cloud based services. Plug computers are meant to always be on, but they draw very little power. When idle, the typical plug computer uses around 2 watts of power. When in use, they usually draw around 7 or 8 watts. Powered by Marvell embedded processors, a plug computer is packed with enough processing power and network connectivity for managing and serving up digital media files. A plug computer also draws less than one tenth of the power consumed by its PC counterparts enabling always-on, always-connected, and environmentally friendly computing. With a gigahertz-class processor, memory and storage the plug computer has ample processing power and resources to run any embedded computing application.

Fig 1 – Plug Computer

5

Key Features And Benefits
Features • End-product form factor • • • Open platform • • • • • • • • • Built-in debug support • • • • • • • Benefits Professional demonstration of new applications Suitable for initial trials Shorter time to production Available at low cost to any interested developer Readily available Linux distributions Community support Ideal for always-on computing tasks Easier to port existing software without modification Run multiple applications concurrently Wirespeed packet processing Fast response for interactive applications High speed access to USB 2.0 connected storage Direct connect to a PC via mini USB cable JTAG access Serial console interface Gigabit Ethernet Interface for fast wirespeed access to Broadband connection USB 2.0 interface to large variety of peripherals such as USB HDD WiFi/BT interface to remote end points Provision to include HDD

High performance with low power

GHz class processor

Wide range of I/O Interface

Fig 2 – Plug Computer Development Kit

6

Plug Computer Processors
There are three main types of pluf computer processors depending on the application. They are 1. 2. 3. Kirkwoord Family Aramada 100 Family Aramada 500 Family

Kirkwood Family
Developed for network connected consumer electronic equipment, the Kirkwood processors provide performance, flexibility, interfaces, and price points that fit the needs of the digital economy. Applications for these SoCs include home gateway/access point, set-top boxes, network storage, digital home media servers, point of services terminal, and plug computers. Product 88F632X 88F6282 88F6283 88F6281 88F6280 88F6192 88F6190 88F6180 Frequency 800MHz – 1.0GHz 1.6 – 2.0GHz 600MHz 1.0 - 1.2GHz 1.0GHz 800MHz 600MHz 600 - 800MHz Cores 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 L2 Cache 3 2 2 2 1 2 1 1 GbE Ports 1 2 2 2 0 2 1 0 SATA II Ports 2 2 2 2 0 2 0 0

Armada 100 Family
The ARMADA 100 Series of application processors delivers strong performance at a mass market price point for cost sensitive consumer and embedded markets such as digital picture frames, eReaders, multifunction printer user interface (UI) displays, interactive VoIP phones, IP surveillance cameras, and home control gadgets. ARMADA 168 The ARMADA 168 is targeted at mass market opportunities in computing and digital consumer devices. Its innovative architecture delivers the processing capabilities of an entry-level laptop to instant-on, digital consumer devices by enabling full-featured web surfing, Internet widgets, multi-format video, Adobe Flash Lite-based content playback, image processing, video conferencing and advanced graphical user interfaces (GUIs) – at consumer price points with ultra-low power for longer battery life.

7

ARMADA 166e The ARMADA 166E application processor is the industry's first SoC with integrated epaper display (EPD) controller, adding a new dimension of display performance and system cost reduction compared to competitive offerings. With a complete platform offering including the ARMADA application processor, combination Wi-Fi/Bluetooth system-on-a-chip (SoC), power management, 3G modem technology and a robust preintegrated SW environment, Marvell provides the most complete solution for eReaders on the market today. ARMADA 162 The ARMADA 162 is a stripped down version of the ARMADA 100 series, running at lower speeds with a small functional set. The 162 is targeted at cost-sensitive applications such as smart digital photo frames and mass market electronic toys.

Armada 500 Family
The ARMADA 500 series of application processors is designed for high performance consumer devices such as netbooks, smartbooks, thin clients and mobile internet devices. Alongside the ARMADA 600 processor family, the ARMADA 500 series is one of the industry's first running the ARM v7 instruction set. Key features: • ARM v7 CPU core running up to 1.0 GHz • Vector floating point (VFP) v3 and 512KB L2 cache • 1080p video decode • 16MT/s/3D graphics • WUXGA LCD resolution support • Security acceleration and consumer/embedded oriented I/O's (PCIe, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0, SDIO, DDR2/DDR3, S-ATA, MIPI CSI and more) ARMADA 510 The Marvell ARMADA 510 is a high-performance, highly integrated, low-power system-onchip (SoC) with an ARM v6/v7-compliant superscalar processor core, hardware graphics processing unit, video decoding acceleration hardware and a broad range of peripherals. Targeted for smartbooks, thin clients, mobile internet devices (MIDs) and tablet devices, this high-performance SoC answers the need for fast processing and a rich multimedia user experience, in a low-power design that offers quick Internet browsing, software compatibility, HD video, 3D graphics and high-speed connectivity. Marvell’s ARMADA 510 (88AP510) SoC gives developers a fully integrated design that provides end users with the portability and similar battery life experience of a smartphone, along with the multimedia, software and browser performance of a PC.

8

Specifications
The plug computer is available in different configurations. The Sheevaplug Development kit was the first development kit which was available to the public. The SheevaPlug Development Kit includes the following components: • Marvell high-performance MV88F6281 general purpose controller with integrated CPU running at 1200 MHz • Double Data Rate II (DDR2) SDRAM memory on board: Up to 4 one Gigabit x8 device -16 bit width, for a total of 512 MB running at a clock frequency of 400 MHz, data rate at 800 MHz • Gigabit Ethernet port: On-board Gigabit Ethernet port on RJ-45 connector (J1) Connected to 88E1116R Marvell PHY using RGMII interface. • USB 2.0 Interface: Host to Device USB adapter (J6) • RS-232 COM port connector by UART FDT2322D adapter via a mini USB connector. • NAND Flash - 512 MB, U-boot, included Kernel, and File System • ARM-compliant JTAG connector , also via a mini USB connector

Fig 1 – Hardware Block Diagram

9

Fig 2 – External Interface

Fig 3 – Plug Computer Comparison Chart

10

Power Usage
Here is a table of the Sheeva Plug's power usage on different configurations. The power usage of the 2 Intel CPUs as a comparison were also added.

Fig 1 – Memory Usage

11

Software
The primary system consists of the following software components • uBoot • Operating System

uBoot
Das U-Boot (Universal Bootloader) is an open source, primary boot loader used in embedded devices. It is available for a number of different computer architectures, including PPC, ARM, MIPS, AVR32, x86, 68k, Nios, and MicroBlaze. Supported File Systems • Cramfs • ext2 • FAT • FDOS • JFFS2 • ReiserFS • UBIFS • YAFFS2 A computer's central processor can only execute program code found in read-only memory (ROM), random access memory (RAM), or (for computers of the 1950s through 1970s) entered from an operator's front panel. Modern operating systems and application program code and data are stored on nonvolatile data storage devices, such as hard drives, CD, DVD, flash memory cards (like an SD card), USB flash drive, and floppy disk. When a computer is first powered on, it usually does not have an operating system in ROM or RAM. The computer must execute a relatively small program stored in ROM along with the bare minimum of data needed to access the nonvolatile devices from which the operating system programs and data are loaded into RAM. The small program that starts this sequence of loading into RAM is known as a bootstrap loader, bootstrap or boot loader. This small boot loader program's only job is to load other data and programs which are then executed from RAM. Often, multiple-stage boot loaders are used, during which several programs of increasing complexity sequentially load one after the other in a process of chain loading. Early computers (such as the IBM 650, DEC PDP-5 through PDP-8, early models of the PDP-11, and early microcomputers such as the Altair 8800) had a row of dials or toggle switches on the front panel to allow the operator to manually enter the boot instructions into memory before transferring control to the CPU, or to directly pass an instruction to the CPU. (Interestingly, the PDP-1 had a hardware built-in loader, such that an operator only needed to push the "load" switch and the paper tape reader would read a program directly into core memory.) The boot loader would then read in either the second-stage boot loader (called Binary Loader of paper tape with checksum), or the operating system from an outside storage medium such as paper tape, punched card, or a disk drive. 12

Fig 1 – uBoot Console Output

13

Operating System
The plug computer supports different Linux operating systems which supports the ARM architecture. The different supported operating systems are • • • • • • Debian Fedora OpenWRT – A Linux distribution primarily targeted at routing on embedded devices Gentoo PlugBox Linux Ubuntu and so on

All these operating systems gives access to more than 25,000 packages through their repositories. Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux system distributions may vary in many details of system operation, configuration, and software package selections. Linux runs on a wide variety of computer hardware, including mobile phones, tablet computers, network routers, televisions, video game consoles, desktop computers, mainframes and supercomputers. Linux is a leading server operating system, and runs the 10 fastest supercomputers in the world. The development of Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open source software collaboration; typically all the underlying source code can be used, freely modified, and redistributed, both commercially and non-commercially, by anyone under licenses such as the GNU General Public License. Typically Linux is packaged in a format known as a Linux distribution for desktop and server use. Some popular mainstream Linux distributions include Debian (and its derivatives such as Ubuntu), Fedora and openSUSE. Linux distributions include the Linux kernel, supporting utilities and libraries and usually a large amount of application software to fulfill the distribution's intended use. A distribution oriented toward desktop use may include the X Window System, the GNOME and KDE Plasma desktop environments. Other distributions may include a less resource intensive desktop such as LXDE or Xfce for use on older or less-powerful computers. A distribution intended to run as a server may omit any graphical environment from the standard install and instead include other software such as the Apache HTTP Server and a SSH server like OpenSSH. Because Linux is freely redistributable, it is possible for anyone to create a distribution for any intended use. Commonly used applications with desktop Linux systems include the Mozilla Firefox web browser, the OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice office application suites, and the GIMP image editor. The main supporting user space system tools and libraries from the GNU Project are the basis for the Free Software Foundation's preferred name GNU/Linux. 14

Fig 1 – Software Development Diagram

15

Applications
A plug computer can be used for literally hundreds of applications.

TonidoPlug
TonidoPlug is a tiny, low power, low cost home server based on 1.2 GHz Sheeva processor that allows you to access your applications, files, photos, music and media from anywhere (Powered by Tonido). TonidoPlug comes pre-installed with powerful Tonido Applications - Photos, Jukebox, Webshare, Workspace, Thots, Explorer, Torrent and Search - all running on top of embedded Ubuntu Jaunty Linux OS. Additionally, TonidoPlug can be extended by installing new applications from Tonido App store. Applications and data are always local with TonidoPlug. TonidoPlug doesn't redirect or proxy connections. User's data never flows through our servers. Hence data privacy is assured. TonidoPlug offers a compelling alternative to cloud storage services and distributes inexpensive computing power to every home and small business. TonidoPlug can act as low power, low cost home server for digital homes and backup and collaboration server for small businesses. The various applications running on the tonidoplug are • Torrent - Web based bit torrent client that allows you to manage all your torrents downloads from anywhere. • Webshare- File sharing application that allows you to share large files (documents, music, home videos and photos) that are too big to email, directly from your plug computer to anyone with a web browser. • Jukebox- Browser based MP3 Jukebox that allows you to access your personal mp3 music collection from anywhere via a web browser. • Photos - P2P Photo Sharing application that allows you to send photos directly and privately via Tonido P2P network to your friends and family. Photos are automatically sent to your friends when you add new photos to your folder. No more uploading. • Thots - Personal Blog or Journal application that allows you to record your ideas, notes and other random information. It has Twitter integration as well. • Search - Web based search application that allows you to search your files in your plug computer from anywhere. • Explorer - Web based file manager application that allows you to copy, delete, and rename (Similar to windows explorer) your files in the plug computer. • TonidoPlug Admin: Manage Plug functions: Network settings, mounting and unmounting 16

external USB drives and creating a samba share.

CTERA
CTERA Networks delivers next-generation storage solutions that combine the convenience of Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliances with the reliability and scalability of online backup and storage services. This concept of Cloud Attached StorageTM allows SOHO users, small businesses, branch offices and enterprise teleworkers to share files, enjoy secure and transparent online backup, synchronize folders and access their online backups anywhere using a web browser. As opposed to other methods of online backup, Cloud Attached Storage does not require installing any client software and provides integrated services in an all-in-one device that is easy to use, maintain and upgrade. It provides integrated security, remote management capabilities and optimized differential backup all running in the background, without taxing PC resources or overloading the LAN. The smallest form-factor Cloud Attached Storage appliance, the CTERA CloudPlugTM,converts any USB drive into a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device with integrated secure offsite backup, and is ideal for a SOHO / teleworkers / small branch office environments. The CloudPlug is a plug computing device based on the Marvell Sheeva CPU and is about the size of a mobile phone charger. CTERA works with service providers, ranging from ISPs to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and hosting companies, to deliver Cloud Attached Storage as a service to their subscribers and customers. With CTERA's Cloud Attached Storage solutions, service providers can capitalize on investments made in high-speed infrastructure and reap the benefits: Create new revenue streams from services related to storage, backup, and file synchronization Provide added-value and innovative services that improve customer retention Increase market share in the lucrative small business and teleworkers segment.

Shaspa
Shaspa BridgeBringing it all together - Shaspa Bridge a universal translator to enable the interaction between sensors, appliances and cloud based services. Smarter Buildings are on the horizon. There is an increasing number of 'network enabled' appliances and devices, coupled with the widespread availability of broadband communications that are finally enabling new "intelligent" products and services that reach far beyond traditional markets. Shaspa is an innovative service delivery framework and set of services blending the technologies that enables customer to use the basic building blocks available for their projects. The Shaspa Bridge completely supports existing protocols in Building automation and as a result offers customers an unparalleled security over their investments as well as extending the functionality of their current devices. The Shaspa Bridge, a Java based 17

application, has been developed to run alongside Shaspa's unique Application Service Framework - which when running in the cloud enables technology for device management and service as well as the creation of a wide array of value added services for third parties. This solution brings manufacturers and service providers together, collaborating to design and develop the service products of tomorrow... The Shaspa Bridge, connects a new era of smarter devices to the IBM Service Delivery Platform offering. By supporting the most commonly found protocols in Building Automation (KNX, Modbus, CANOpen, ZigBee, DALI, MBus, SMNP, MPBus...) we can help service providers and customers protect their investment and extend existing functionality by enabling devices from a variety of vendors. In combination with Shaspa's Application Service Framework, it enables technology for device management and service, and also allows the creation of a wide array of value added services for third parties. The solution provides both manufacturers and service providers new ways to cooperate, collaborate and design new products connected to services. Typical applications are Smart Home Solutions, Home Energy Management Systems, Social Energy Meter, Green Datacenters, Assisted Living, E-Mobility and Carbon Management Solutions.

Amahi
Amahi's flagship product is the very popular open source Amahi Home Server, now available for the Plug Computer Platform. Amahi makes home networking simple. Amahi servers are called HDAs, for "Home Digital Assistants." Each HDA delivers all the functionality anyone would want in a home server, being as easy to use as a web browser. On top of that, with the award-winning App Store, containing dozens and dozens of the most popular web and media streaming apps, extensibility is literally one click away! The core functionality available in the Amahi HDA install includes: • Private Internet Applications Shared applications like media server, iTunes streaming, calendaring, private wiki and more from one of the largest selection of apps of it's kind in the world! • File Sharing and Organization Access, share and search files from any machine on the network, making it easy to share and find photos, music and videos. • Internet Wide Access Automatically setup a private VPN to access the network from anywhere: safely and securely. • Protect Computers Backup all your networked devices simply and easily in the home network. Easily restore devices from backups!

18

Health Monitoring
The partnership between BAM Labs and Marvell has enabled the development of the BAM Labs Touchless Health Monitoring Service. Using the Marvell Plug Computer as part of it's platform, BAM Labs, with their intensive focus on timely diagnosis and accurate data collection, has created a solution that is cost effective, easy-to-use, allows remote health monitoring and most importantly puts user experience first. The BAM Labs Touchless Health Monitoring Service eliminates intrusive wires for data gathering and increases the quality of patient care from caregivers. BAM Labs created a biometric sensor that can be placed under a mattress

without any wires or leads and there is no disruption to the subject's physical environment. The sensor detects heart rate, breathing rate, motion, and presence in bed while the person sleeps normally. The biometric sensor and the Marvell Plug Computer collect the data and transmit it to a BAM Labs secure Cloud service the caregiver can access. Caregivers receive data on a variety of mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. The caregiver can monitor large groups of people while performing their regular duties, and react to events such as a person getting out of bed or falling. Caregivers can also review long term data trends for sleep quality and biometrics to identify adverse changes for early intervention.

Meteohub – Weather Monitoring
Meteohub is a miniaturized weather server, that records weather data from your weather station, evaluates this data, draws user defined weather graphs and uploads these via ftp to a web server. Furthermore, Meteohub can upload weather data to Internet weather networks and can export recorded weather data in WSWIN or WD format to allow for further processing on your PC. Meteohub supports a wide range of weather stations and allows to record these data ongoing and to transport the information to the Internet, without having your PC switched on. In the beginning Meteohub software was designed for Linksys NSLU2, but now you can also use it on ebox 2300, ebox 3300 or ebox 4300, fit-PC Slim, ALIX.1D/3D2 or SheevaPlug. All these platforms have a power consumption below 10 watts (measured 19

at the 110V/200V power plug). Therefore, Metohub allows to record and analyze your weather data 24/7 without having much of an impact on your energy bill and the environment. NSLU2, eboxes, Fit-PC Slim and SheevaPlug are fanless, passively cooled, tiny computer systems, that can even be used in situations with very limited space or poor ventilation. As Meteohub does not make use of any hard disks, but USB sticks (NSLU2), CF cards (ebox, ALIX.1D), SSD (Fit-PC Slim) or Sd card (SheevaPlug), Meteohub is completely noiseless.

20

Conclusion
The plug computer is a marvel, packing a surprising amount of punch into its diminutive casing. Its low power draw makes it an excellent choice for a simple home server and variety of applications, while good debugging facilities help speed up ARM development projects. Multiple standard Linux 2.6 kernel distributions are supported on the Sheeva Plug development platform enabling rapid application development. The new device is ideal for use as desktop terminals in large support offices, where only basic client and logging software is being used, such as a tech support facility. These modules can also be used at sales terminals at retail locations. Needless to say, very low power usage, extremely small foot print, and very low cost of ownership make Marvell's Plug Computer an attractive option for businesses of any size.

21

References
• • • • • • http://www.marvell.com/solutions/plug-computers/ http://www.plugcomputer.org/ http://computingplugs.com/index.php?title=Main_Page http://www.cyrius.com/debian/kirkwood/sheevaplug/ http://jeff.doozan.com/debian/ http://archlinuxarm.org/

22