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Media control point adopts plug-in computer design

Aug 24, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Eyecon Technologies has announced a media “control point” reference design based on Marvell's tiny, Linux-based SheevaPlug Plug Computer reference design. Due this fall from unnamed consumer electronics companies, the device offers an embedded version of Eyecon's UPnP/DLNA-compatible home media content aggregation software, says the company.

The as yet unnamed Eyecon device was briefly mentioned as a licensee when Marvell first announced the SheevaPlug Plug Computer back in February. The media control point device offers a virtual library of local- and Internet-based videos, movies, photographs, and music, says Eyecon.

Eyecon control point architecture

The Eyecon-aggregated content can be accessed remotely by Eyecon's "personalized and portable user interface application for smartphones and other ultra-portable devices," says the company. Users can access the device to remotely browse, preview, queue, play-back, and control content aggregated from any connected UPnP/DLNA-compatible home audio or video player, says Eyecon.

Eyecon's software uses a "Pick Block" menu that identifies a user's favorite and saved content

Marvell's $100 SheevaPlug reference platform and Plug Computer designs are built around the Marvell 88F6000, or "Kirkwood" SoC. The Plug Computer is based on the high-end 88F6281 version of the Kirkwood, with an ARM-derived "Sheeva" architecture CPU core clocked to 1.2GHz. Drawing only five Watts, the tiny Plug Computer plugs directly into an electrical socket.

Marvell SheevaPlug Plug Computer

The SheevaPlug Plug Computer is equipped with 512MB of DRAM and 512MB of flash, as well as gigabit Ethernet and USB 2.0 ports. The SheevaPlug development kit supports standard Linux 2.6 kernel distributions, including specific support for ARM ports of Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, and Gentoo, says the company.

Early hardware licensees of the SheevaPlug design include Ctera Networks for its CloudPlug NAS device, and CloudEngines for its Pogoplug, which enables remote viewing of external storage devices via a web browser. More recently, WebTView announced a WebTVPlug IPTV receiver based on the SheevaPlug design, and Marvell announced that networked-attached storage (NAS) device vendors Buffalo, D-Link, LaCie, and Seagate will offer SheevaPlug-based NAS devices.

Stated Eyecon CEO Meir Friedlander, "With the number of digital content sources multiplying, consumers need a solution that provides personalized and portable discovery, search, and navigation capabilities. Our portable interface application, combined with the independent media control point on the SheevaPlug, delivers on the promise of connected home entertainment."


Eyecon is currently shipping a limited number of the Plug Computer-based content aggregation control point devices as part of its early access program. Unnamed consumer electronics vendors are expected to deliver the Eyecon-based devices this fall, says the company. More information on Eyecon's software may be found here.

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