4Home & Marvell Introduce Jointly-Developed Plug Computer for Energy Management

June 07, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

Marvell and 4Home, a provider of connected home services software, today introduced a new energy management solution, based on the SheevaPlug™, powered by Marvell® Sheeva™ CPU technology. According to the companies, the new energy management solution allows consumers to easily and reliably monitor and control their home’s energy usage by simply plugging into an electrical wall outlet. With this new solution, consumers will have the freedom to self-track detailed energy records and leverage energy data to project and potentially drive down their future energy costs. Furthermore, with embedded features from the SheevaPlug, consumers can enjoy environmentally-friendly, always-on energy monitoring with zero-configuration.

"Plug Computing is gaining rapid adoption in the connected home market for its encapsulated product experience: just plug and go," said Dr. Simon Milner, Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Business Unit, Communications and Consumer Group at Marvell. "The Plug Computer for energy management enables an entire ecosystem of green products to work together seamlessly, behind the scenes to allow consumers to manage their energy usage from their television, smartphone, or tablet."

The new platform features 4Home’s ControlPoint™ software optimized for energy management, which includes the following features: tracking of real-time and historical energy usage for the entire home as well as individual appliances; projection of future energy usage and costs for daily, monthly and yearly cycles based on current energy usage; alerts notifying users if they are trending towards an overage in energy usage based on the amount of energy use that they allocate for the given time period.

"Energy management is a leading connected home service that’s driving the development of home systems that can support new connectivity standards and protocols to enable the monitoring and control of residential energy use," said Nate Williams, CMO at 4Home. "The plug-computing platform introduces an unobtrusive and fully-connected energy management system into the home environment, and benefits from the underlying ControlPoint software that allows it to be compatible with new devices, standards, and home configurations."

The Plug Computer is designed to make high-performance, always on, always connected, and green computing readily available for developers and end-users. Plug Computers feature a 2 GHz Marvell ARMADA™ 300 processor, and optional built-in hard-disk drive and embedded Marvell Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies. Additional peripherals such as Direct Attached Storage (DAS) can be connected using a USB 2.0 port. Multiple standard Linux 2.6 kernel distributions are supported on the Plug Computer development platform enabling rapid application development. The enclosure is designed to plug directly into a standard wall socket and is designed to draw less than one tenth of the power of a typical PC being used as a home server.