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Intel exits OLPC project

Posted: 08 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:OLPC project? processor? emerging market?

Intel has withdrawn from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. The company was scheduled to exhibit prototype computers using its processor at this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The chip giant has also resigned from the board of the project following disagreements with other members and demands that Intel should stop supporting other efforts in emerging markets.

Nicholas Negroponte, former Media Lab director at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, founded the OLPC program in 2005. The original concept was to offer a "$100 laptop," but the green-and-white low-power "XO" computer now being shipped costs nearly $190. It runs on a Linux OS and a chip made by Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

Intel said it would continue with its own project, codenamed Classmate, to provide inexpensive computers for emerging markets.

According to a report in Reuters, the OLPC board "had asked Intel to end its support for non-OLPC platforms including the Classmate PC and other systems," referencing Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy. He added Intel decided to drop out after six months of discussion, having joined the effort in July 2007 and agreeing to contribute money and technical expertise.

Mulloy, however, denied the reason for the decision had anything to do with existing OLPC machines using an AMD chip, and stressed the company had always believed there need to be multiple alternatives to meet the same need as the OLPC project was targeting.

- John Walko
EE Times-Europe

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