OLPC to Release “Open Source Hardware Design”

OLPC to Allow Third Parties to Build XO Laptops

by Anton Shilov
02/09/2009 | 11:47 AM

The XO laptops from One Laptop per Child non-profit organization has not managed to become really popular on the market due to various reasons, but the OLPC org wants to change that by allowing other manufacturers of mobile computers to build and ship XO machines.

 

“We had to build the first laptop because no one else would do it. But now, OLPC will release and open source hardware design and invite others to copy it,” said Nicholas Negroponte, the chief of OLPC, who predicts that within 3 years there will be 5 to 6 million machines a month built by companies around the world.

At present contract manufacturers of electronics make OLPC XO machines at the order of the organization, who then sells its low-cost laptops to customers around the world. Mr. Negroponte wants actual hardware makers to deliver the laptops, which reduces expenses and speeds up time-to-market of the XOs. But considering the fact that OLPC XO is very inexpensive, for hardware manufacturers it may not be an interesting product to sell.

According to Mr. Negroponte, approximately 500 thousand children worldwide already own OLPC XO-1 laptops.

Current OLPC XO laptop features AMD Geode LX-700 processor with 433MHz clock-speed and built-in graphics controller, 256MB of PC-2700 (DDR 333MHz) memory, 1GB NAND flash that substitutes hard disk drive, 7.5” screen with 1200x900 resolution, wireless and wired network adapters as well as integrated webcam, microphone, speakers and so on.