XO-1.75 ARM Still on OLPC Hardware Roadmap

Are you worried that today's announcement of a Marvell XO-3 Moby tablet will further confuse the XO laptop roadmap? That the limited OLPC resources will focus on the tablet, to the detriment of the existing form factor?


Fully embracing ARM for OLPC

If so, here is Ed McNierney to assuage your fears. After the XO-1.5 will be the XO-1.75, maybe even before an XO-3 Moby:

I think it's important to recognize that our goal with Marvell is to work with them to make a family of tablet products possible, not all of which will be "OLPC" products. That's something new, and potentially confusing, but we think it can really help us both broaden the community working with us, and help drive our own product costs down by increasing volumes....

As we've previously announced, our XO-1.75 product, bringing a Marvell ARM-based motherboard to the current XO-1 laptop platform, is the next product release in our efforts to provide ARM-based, lower-power devices to achieve our mission.

While its good to hear that OLPC is staying focused on delivering already-announced hardware, I wonder if an ARM XO-1.75 will be too little, too late, especially when you read what VIA is bringing to market:

Via Technologies Inc., the Taiwanese computer-processor company, expects $100 tablet devices containing its chips to reach the U.S. in the second half of 2010, offering a cheaper alternative to the iPad.

About five different models, ranging in price from $100 to $150, will be available, Richard Brown, vice president of marketing at Via, said in an interview. The new computers, made by the company's Chinese customers, will run Google Inc.'s Android operating system.

Might this be the beginning of a One iPad Per Child program?

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The XO-1 industrial design (which the XO-1.75 will have) is kind of unique.

It is a swivel-form-factor, netbook like device with keyboard.

It is designed with outdoor requirements in mind.

Since their first tablet offerings may not be ruggedized, I would keep this industrial form factor for a while.

Of course, it should share the exact same baseboard (and possibly other components too) as their oncoming tablet XOs.

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