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Marvell, Stanford Launch SMILE Plug To Create Classroom Clouds

Storage and communications provider Marvell has launched the SMILE Plug, a cloud computer developed in partnership with the Stanford Mobile Inquiry-Based Learning Environment (SMILE) program that creates an ad hoc network to stimulate higher-order student learning.

In addition, Marvell has expanded its partnership with Stanford University to create a SMILE Consortium, an industry organization to promote innovation by software developers and hardware manufacturers to aid the effort.

The SMILE Plug is designed as a tool to support efforts related to the "Classroom 3.0" model of learning, which involves having students conduct research, organize information and then present what they learn to their classmates.

With the SMILE Plug educators have increased access to additional learning options as well as an ability to sync mobile devices.

The device works by creating a micro cloud that can work with as many as 60 students.

Beta testing of the SMILE Plug is ongoing in 20 countries, ranging from elementary classrooms up to graduate classes.

Features of the SMILE Plug include:

  • 512MB of RAM;
  • Two gigabit Ethernet ports;
  • A 2Ghz single-core Armada 300 series System-on-a-Chip (SoC);
  • Dual USB 2.0 plugs;
  • One microSD slot;
  • Ability to connect to an external 5-volt Lithium-ion polymer backup battery; and
  • Marvell's Avastar 88W8764 Wi-Fi.

The SMILE Plug uses an Arch Linux for ARM open platform and also makes use of the Stanford SMILE Server and the Plugmin administration app.

More information on the SMILE Plug can be found at marvell.com. Go to smileconsortium.org to learn more about the SMILE Consortium.

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