Documenting the Coming Singularity

Friday, May 22, 2009

The start of something big? - Plugging In $40 Computers

This blog is about documenting the Singularity, which means bringing to your attention some of the normally unnoticed news items that may, in fact, be harbingers of the "knee of the curve," the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning. Just imagine these headlines as part of a retrospective after the Singularity has undeniably occurred. Let's do some 20/20 foresight here, people.

NYT - May 21, 2009, by Saul Hansell

What would you do with a $40 Linux computer the size of a three-prong plug adapter?

Marvell Technology Group is counting on an army of computer engineers and hackers to answer that question. It has created a “plug computer.” It’s a tiny plastic box that you plug into an electric outlet. There’s no display. But there is an Ethernet jack to connect to a home network and a U.S.B. socket for attaching a hard drive, camera or other device. Inside is a 1.2 gigahertz Marvell chip, called an application processor, running a version of the Linux operating system.

All this can be yours for $99 today and probably for under $40 in two years.

“There’s not much in there,” said Sehat Sutardja, Marvell’s chief executive and co-founder, just a few chips and the sort of power supply used to charge a cellphone battery. Because this computer uses chips designed for cellphones, it uses far less power than chips designed for regular computers.

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