Friday, July 22nd, 2011 at 9:25am

Plug computing

Posted by Jordan Erickson

Plug computing might be the next huge thing in embedded systems. It doesn’t really get much smaller than this! An entire computer, fit inside a ‘wall wart’ plug. One can only imagine the applications these things can be used for.

Now, don’t think that plug computers would be a good desktop replacement – they used scaled-down hardware, designed for certain applications. Don’t expect to play the latest video games on them, or even be able to run Windows.

The Nimbus 100 is one plug computer in particular I’ve had my eyes on. Sporting a 1.2GHz Marvell CPU, 512MB RAM and 512MB NAND flash storage (with USB as an optional expansion for storage), these guys would run Linux like a champ. Besides the coolness factor of having an entire computer inside a plug, the price is right at around $100 US. You can’t find many fully embedded systems for this low of a price.

VPN routers, web, e-mail and file servers, wifi hotspots (for those plugs that have wireless embedded), tor routers, …if you can think of it, these plug computers can probably do it.

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