updated 02:00 pm EDT, Fri September 7, 2007
Intel OLPC Chip
Discussions are in place that could switch the One Laptop Per Child project at least partially to Intel's processors, the two companies said today. Following the firms' recent agreement to collaborate on future projects, the OLPC team has confirmed that it has been helping Intel engineers create a new chipset and processor that could meet the extremely low power draw and high sturdiness levels needed for the project, which has focused on providing notebooks to developing regions where money and harsh weather would not support normal computers. OLPC's current system, the XO, runs on a 433MHz AMD Geode
Intel would not reveal its exact plans but expects to base a future system on the A100-series CPU originally designed for ultra-mobile PCs. The system may also run on the upcoming "Silverthorne" platform due next year that would potentially offer the extra speed of a dual-core chip. It may also become part of a second system designed for more developed areas, where the system could be larger and faster.
"I can imagine there will be a family of laptops in terms of processor power and maybe there will be a larger form factor for older kids," said William Bender, president of the OLPC project.
The group still maintains its plans to use the AMD processor for at least the primary XO system and hasn't ruled out other chips for other purposes, such as Marvell's Xscale embedded chips used in cellphones and other handhelds.