Yesterday, I spoke to a delightful crew from Marvell (NASDAQ:MRVL) the company known for providing a wide variety of silicon solutions ranging from mobile communications, storage, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud infrastructure, digital entertainment and in-home content delivery and Kinoma software enabling the “Smart Life and Smart Lifestyle.” They had a big announcement to make: the industry’s first fully integrated 3D printer system-on-chip (SoC) and software solution platform. Marvell’s new technology platform is based on the empowering 88PA6120 SoC, which is an intriguing hardware development kit as well as a full Linux-based software development kit. Whenever a major technology company steps into the burgeoning 3D printer market segment, I generally assume that they have figured out a unique way of addressing a specific void in the industry.
Marvell’s 3D printer SoC solution platform is designed to help drive 3D printing into mainstream applications, effectively enabling a broad array of customers to quickly bring innovative, full-featured 3D printer products to market and enhancing the end user 3D printing experience.
“Smart printing is an important part of the ‘Smart Life and Smart Lifestyle.’ As the world’s #1 leader in printer processing technology, I am very proud of our latest innovation that revolutionizes 3D printing and brings the benefit of this very exciting technology to the mainstream market globally. Combining the high performance of our advanced silicon hardware with the ease-of-use, flexibility and cloud service capability of our unique Kinoma software, I believe our complete platform solution will empower our global customers and partners with cutting-edge, cost-effective 3D printers for the masses and enable a new era of 3D printing,” said Weili Dai, President and Co-Founder of Marvell. “I am very thankful for our innovative and dedicated engineering teams and their continuous contributions to the printing industry. At Marvell, it is our passion and mission to continue innovating, inventing, and creating new technologies that better the lives of all consumers around the world.”
Marvell is effectively providing the whole industry with a technological turbo boost. Their 3D printer SoC solution provides a complete reference kit with full-featured functionality to “enable turnkey development and quick time-to-market of 3D printer products.” The 3D printer SoC solution includes Marvell’s 88PA6120, a 533 MHz, ARM v7 compatible processor with dual real-time microprocessors, enabling highly customizable precision motion control. What this means is that Marvell has produced something of a missing link between 3D printing and widespread adoption of 3D printing in more advanced business applications.
According to Keith Kmetz, vice president of IDC’s Imaging, Printing and Document Solutions Research, “IDC predicts that 3D printer unit sales and installed base will witness a strong growth across the global market through 2017. We see tremendous market opportunity for vendors, such as Marvell, to deliver development kits that support the adoption of 3D printing – making it part of mainstream printing technologies. For example, we anticipate that 3D printing will expand rapidly in key vertical markets such as aerospace, automotive, education, dental, manufacturing as well as recreational, to name a few.”
So what is it, exactly?
Marvell’s 3D printer SoC solution provides a complete reference kit with full-featured functionality to enable turnkey development and quick time-to-market of 3D printer products. The 3D printer SoC solution includes Marvell’s 88PA6120, a 533 MHz, ARM v7 compatible processor with dual real-time microprocessors, enabling highly customizable precision motion control. The combination of Marvell’s host processors and hardware and software reference platforms provide a set of features that meet the distinctive requirements of the 3D printing market. The full reference kit incorporates features such as rich user interfaces with touch LCD support to allow for advanced touch screen control functionality.
- Marvell’s 88PA6120 SoC
o 533MHz ARM v7 compatible processor
o Dual real-time microprocessors for highly customizable precision motion control
o Rich user interfaces with touch LCD support
o Integrated 10/100 PHY, USB, DRAM, SD, and eMMC
o Multiple motor controls and print head interfaces
o HW encryption support for IPSec & SSL
- Several Marvell WiFi/Bluetooth options such as Marvell’s 88W8801 Avastar® Wi-Fi SoC
- Full-featured Linux SDK, including real-time 3D motion control, Ethernet and WiFi network stacks, LCD user interface, and board support package
- Full development tool support
- Flexible hardware development platform with connectivity options for multiple 3D printer designs
Marvell will be demonstrating its printer solutions including its new 3D SoC solution platform offering at CES 2015 in Marvell’s booth, Level 3, Murano 3304, at The Venetian. CES is being held in Las Vegas, NV at the Las Vegas Convention and World Trade Center and the Venetian Hotel on Jan. 6–9, 2015.
Expect more 3D printing news from Marvell.