The folks at One Laptop per Child appear to be taking a different approach toward their next-generation hardware. In fact, the next XO product won’t be a laptop at all. Instead it will be a tablet. And instead of designing the tablet in-house like it did the original XO Laptop, OLPC is working with chip maker Marvell to bring the company’s Moby reference design to life.
Marvell already has the very promising Armada 610 applications processor, which lies at the heart of the slate demonstrated at the Netbook Summit. This chip has a clock speed of 1GHz, supports 3D acceleration and can render up to 45 million triangles per second, as well as control four 1080p displays at the same time. It is this component that OLPC intends to use in its upcoming XO tablet.
The device will be designed to work with mesh networks and will feature an application to directly access more than 2 million free books available across the Internet. It will have a very long (exact specs on the battery have not been made public) battery life, as well as support for Flash 10, two-way teleconferencing, video chatting, and even 1080p video playback. Marvell’s ARMADA 610 (1GHz) processor will be the heartbeat of the tablet, and there will also be an 802.11n Wi-Fi module and support for Android, Ubuntu (Linux) and Windows Mobile operating systems. We suspect that each school will be able to decide which OS best fits their needs.
On the other hand, the XO tablet could be dirt cheap. When Marvell announced the Moby reference design earlier this year, the goal was to develop a platform for $99 tablets.
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