Marvell's SMILE Plug Enables Classroom MicroCloud
It's a brilliant device for the classroom, one which, as a former teacher, I would have appreciated greatly. What is it? Part of Marvell's "Classroom 3.0" initiative, it's called the SMILE Plug. What can it do? It allows classroom teachers to create a "micro cloud" that can be used to enhance the learning environment, making it easier to introduce technology and global classroom connectivity.
Marvell collaborated with Stanford University to create the Marvell Smile Plug (named after the Stanford Mobile Inquiry Based Learning Environment program), which uses Marvell’s Armada processor and creates the wireless network that is completely controlled by the teacher.
The Smile Plug, essentially a small server, is designed to deliver classroom materials to students. It can be connected to laptops, smartphones and tablets, for example the OLPC XO 3.0 tablets, a Marvell-powered education tablet part of the One Laptop per Child project, something which teachers should be thrilled about as the $100 investment for the tablet is a fairly reasonable investment for school districts and created specifically for classrooms in emerging markets.
The device is powered by a Marvell Armada 300 CPU and equipped with Marvell’s Avastar 88W8764 WiFi chip. It can connect up to 60 devices at a time, allowing students to interact over a secure and reliable micro cloud.
Smile Plug and OLPC XO 3.0 are both important additions to the world’s classrooms according to Weili Dai, co-founder of Marvell, who says they can make learning interactive and bring other worlds and cultures into the classroom.
Along with Standford University, Marvell has made a commitment to improving education worldwide. The SMILE Plug appears to be wonderful example of this.