One Laptop per Child
The $100 Laptop or Children's Machine, is an inexpensive laptop computer intended to be distributed to children in developing countries around the world,to provide them with access to knowledge, and opportunities to "explore, experiment and express themselves" (constructionist learning). The laptop is developed by the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) social welfare organization, and manufactured by the Taiwanese computer company, Quanta Computer.
The laptops can be sold to governments and issued to children by schools on a basis of one laptop per child. Pricing is currently set to start at US$188 and the goal is to reach the $100 mark in 2008. Approximately 500 developer boards (Alpha-1) were distributed in mid-2006; 875 working prototypes (Beta 1) were delivered in late 2006; 2400 Beta-2 machines were distributed at the end of February 2007;full-scale production started November 6, 2007. Quanta Computer, the project's contract manufacturer, said in February 2007 that it had confirmed orders for one million units. It indicated it could ship five million to ten million units that year because seven nations have committed to buy the XO-1 for their schoolchildren: Argentina, Brazil, Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Thailand, and Uruguay.Quanta plans to offer machines very similar to the XO machine on the open market.
The rugged, low-power computers contain flash memory instead of a hard drive and use Linux as their operating system.Mobile ad-hoc networking is used to allow many machines to share Internet access from one connection.
The OLPC project had stated that a consumer version of the XO laptop is not planned.However, the project established in 2007 the laptopgiving.org website for outright donations and for a "Give 1 Get 1" offer valid (but only to the United States, its territories, and Canadian addresses) from November 12, 2007 until December 31, 2007. It has been rumored that it is planning to put a modified version of Windows XP into their newer laptops.
The laptop falls into the newly-defined category of Netbooks.
The XO-1 is designed to be low-cost, small, durable, and efficient. It is shipped with a slimmed-down version of Fedora GNU/Linux and a GUI called Sugar that is intended to help young children collaborate. The XO-1 includes a video camera, a microphone, long-range Wi-Fi, and a hybrid stylus/touch pad. Human power is planned, allowing operation far from commercial sources of power.
Mary Lou Jepsen has listed the design goals of the device as follows:
minimal power consumption, with a design target of 2–3 W total power consumption
minimal production cost, with a target of US$100 per laptop for production runs of millions of units
a "cool" look, implying innovative styling in its physical appearance
e-book functionality with extremely low power consumption
open source and free software provided with the laptop
Various use models had been explored by OLPC with the help of Design Continuum and Fuseproject, including: laptop, e-book, theatre, simulation, tote, and tablet architectures. The current design, by Fuseproject, uses a transformer hinge to morph between laptop, e-book, and router modes.
The hardware specifications as of November 2007 are:
CPU: 433 MHz AMD Geode LX-700 at 0.8 watts, with integrated graphics controller
1200×900 7.5 inch diagonal LCD (200 dpi) that uses 0.1 to 1.0 W depending on mode. The two modes are:
Reflective (backlight off) monochrome mode for low-power use in sunlight. This mode provides very sharp images for high-quality text.
Backlit color mode, with an effective 800×600 resolution that is asymmetrically reduced in complicated ways. See below for details.
256 MB of Dual (DDR266) 133 MHz DRAM (in 2006 the specification called for only 128 MB of RAM)
1024 kB (1 MB) flash ROM with open-source Open Firmware
1024 MB of SLC NAND flash memory (in 2006 the specifications called for only 512 MB of flash memory)
Internal SD card slot
Wireless networking using an “Extended Range” 802.11b/g and 802.11s (mesh) Marvell 8388 wireless chip, chosen due to its ability to autonomously forward packets in the mesh even if the CPU is powered off. When connected in a mesh, it is run at a low bitrate (2 Mbit/s) to minimize power consumption. Despite the wireless chip's minimalism, it supports WPA. An ARM processor is included.
Dual adjustable antennas for diversity reception.
Water-resistant membrane keyboard, customized to the locale in which it will be distributed. The multiplication and division symbols are included. The keyboard is designed for the small hands of children.
Five-key cursor-control pad; four directional keys plus Enter
Four "Game Buttons" (functionally PgUp, PgDn, Home, and End)
Touchpad for mouse control and handwriting input
Built-in color camera, to the right of the display, VGA resolution (640×480)
Built-in stereo speakers
Audio based on the AC97 codec, with jacks for external stereo speakers and microphones, Line-out, and Mic-in
3 external USB 2.0 ports.
DC input, ±11–18 V, maximum 15 W power draw
5-cell rechargeable NiMH battery pack, 3000 mAh minimum 3050 mAh typical 80% usable, charge at 0…45°C
2-cell rechargeable LiFePO4 battery pack, 2800 mAh minimum 2900 mAh typical 100% usable, charge at 0…60°C
4-cell rechargeable LiFePO4 battery pack, 3100 mAh minimum 3150 mAh typical 100% usable, charge at -10…50°C
External manual power options include a pull-string generator designed by Potenco
Intentionally omitted features
One of the first beta test 1 units.In keeping with its goals of robustness and low power consumption, the design of the laptop intentionally omits all motor-driven moving parts; it has no hard drive, no optical (CD/DVD) media, no floppy drives and no fans. An ATA interface is unnecessary due to the lack of hard drive. There is also no PC card slot, although an SD slot is available, as well as USB ports.
A built-in hand-crank generator, making it self-powered equipment, was part of the original design, but Negroponte stated at a 2006 LinuxWorld talk that it was no longer integrated into the laptop itself, but that a similar device could someday be optionally available as a hand- or foot-operated generator built into a separate power unit.