Published in PC Hardware

Marvell shows off new Armada family

by on22 April 2010


Hope this one does not sink off the English coast

Marvell has
been showing off its new system-on-a-chip system which is named after an abortive invasion of the UK. The Armada 310 system-on-a-chip is built with an ARMv5 processor between 500MHz and 1GHz that consumes less than 1 watt of power. The Spanish Armada terrified the UK when it was in port in the 16th century but was defeated by a handful of British ships and then sunk by a storm.

Fixed on a 15 x 15mm FCBGA (Flip Chip Ball Grid Array), the Armada 310 offers tons of i/o options, such as two Gigabit Ethernet MACs, two SATA 2.0 ports, two PCIe ports, USB 2.0, and DDR2/3. Marvell showed off its Plug Computing initiative last year with the release of its SheevaPlug development platform. It wants to build low-cost, low-power CPUs that manage and connect devices with each other.

One popular design is the Pogoplug, a tiny server that connects to any USB storage device and makes their contents available on the Web. The little pink box can do this with just 5 Watts of power. However if the spec of the Armada 310 is correct it can do all this with a watt of power. The Armada 310 system on a chip is selling to manufacturers right now for less than $15 when purchased in bulk.
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