LAS VEGAS--After revealing that its Armada chipset would be powering the new One Laptop per Child X0 3.0 tablet, Marvell Semiconductor has also announced its Smile plug development kit, to create “micro clouds” in classrooms.
The semiconductor firm seems keen to stick to its “Classroom 3.0” theme at this year’s CES, with co-founder Weili Dai taking on the cause for cheaper technology for kids world-over.
In a recent interview, Dai said bringing connectivity and technology into classrooms was one of her biggest personal motivations, and that she hoped Marvell’s cheaper chipsets could achieve wide distribution for educational causes.
In the case of the Smile Plug, Marvell has collaborated with Stanford University to create the ultra-small server which allows for up to 60 students to connect their laptops, smartphones and tablets up to a secure, teacher controlled micro cloud.
The plug runs on Marvell’s Armada 300 series SoC and the firm’s Avastar 88W8764 Wi-Fi, with software based on Arch Linux for ARM, the Plugmin administration app and the Stanford SMILE Junction Server. Plugmin is an administration API and user interface which Marvell says provides access to other Smile programs.
The device also includes a 5V Lithium-Ion polymer battery for back-up power, for cases where electricity may be limited or unstable.
Marvell said it hoped the Smile plug would play a role in encouraging more interactive classrooms with real-time feedback and analytics, especially when using Stanford’s Mobile Inquiry Based Learning Environment program.
Smile Plug is going to be available from spring 2012.