Marvell Gives OLPC $5.6 Million Dollars For XO-3 Tablet Development


What to make to this? Marvell, has stepped up their commitment to an XO-3 with $5.6 million dollar grant to One Laptop per Child for XO-3 laptop development through 2011. As Nicholas Negroponte tells Xconomy:

"Their money is a grant to the OLPC Foundation to develop a tablet or tablets based on their chip," he says. "They're going to put the whole system on a chip."

Yet past that seemingly simple announcement, I get very confused.

First, Negroponte says that OLPC & Marvell will show something "concrete" at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 2011 that:

Marvel's $100 Moby tablet
  1. May or may not be a working prototype
  2. Not directly relate to the XO 3
  3. Be modeled partly on the Moby tablet for education
  4. Be intended for children in the developed world
  5. Use the Android operating system
  6. And "definitely not have our [OLPC] brand. It's a First World machine,"

Next, Negroponte says the actual XO-3, which will follow the CES 2011 computer, will not be ready until 2012. The XO-3 will use Linux, be targeted at the developing world, and use a plastic form factor with a dual-mode display.

So that makes me wonder what, exactly, that Marvell is funding? If XO-3 development, wouldn't that last till the product launch in 2012? If the interim Marvell device, why is it so different from the XO-3? And last but not least, why $5.6 million? That seems like such an odd number.


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Ha, I'm just as confused as you are. Really not quite sure what to make of this. I guess we'll find out more by CES 2011...

The article says, "it will form the basis of what might be called an interim step, a tablet developed by Marvell (and also apparently modeled partly on its own Moby tablet for the education market) that is intended for children in the developed world."

So olpc and Marvell are working together. Olpc is helping Marvell develop the Moby, and Marvell in turn is helping olpc develop the OX-3. The interim machine is so different from the OX-3 because that is what Marvell already had in development. And Marvell is spending $5.6 because that is what their engineers and managers calculated, on the basis of prior experience, it would take to do the job.

Wayan, when the Moby came out you said it meant the OC-3 was going to be canceled, while I said it would help the OC-3. Looks to me like I was right.

Not enough coffee. That of course should be XO-3 all the way through