XO-3 update: OLPC and Marvell partner to design a line of tablets

XO-3 design by Yves Behar
XO-3 taking a photo

This post is now in French on the OLPC France blog – thanks, Lionel!

I’m happy to announce that today we finalized a partnership with Marvell to design a line of education-focused tablet computers. Some of these will be OLPC machines targeted for the developing world, such as the XO-3. The line will be based both on Marvell’s reference design for its Moby tablet and on OLPC’s XO-3 designs (particularly for the low-power end of the line).  (Hat-tip to Charbax for predicting this in March.)

Update: see also this video of Nicholas discussing our current tablet plans. (If you look closely, you can see that some of the highlights were from a talk in the new Media Lab building.)

The first tablets in the line will be based closely on the Moby, ”’not”’ the XO-3, and focused more on children in the developed world. They will be on display at CES 2011 in January, and available next year for under $100. The original XO-3 design is still planned for 2012.  More details after the jump.

Some background: Marvell is a long-time supporter of OLPC and one of our founding Board members, with a deep organizational interest in education. They supplied the wireless chips used in the XO designs to date, and have contributed related testing and debugging. This partnership marks a much more serious collaboration in hardware design.

The Moby is currently being piloted in at-risk schools in Washington DC, and Marvell is investing in a Mobylize campaign to improve tech adoption within US classrooms. This should help lower-case olpc move forward in the developed world — we still lag behind many European and Asian countries in both bandwidth and classroom technology.

OLPC are moving forward with our XO-1.75 designs for an lower-power ARM-based version of the current XO design — this will be the next model for our target schools. The XO-3 is still planned for late 2012, and will benefit from the experience of both the 1.75 and the Moby efforts.

Weili Dai, Marvell’s co-founder, says about the partnership:

The Moby tablet platform – and our partnership with OLPC – represents our joint passion and commitment to give students the power to learn, create, connect and collaborate in entirely new ways. I am immensely proud of the capability of our Moby tablet and I am extremely honored to partner with the inventor of the netbook market for education, Dr. Nicholas Negroponte. I applaud his leadership, vision, passion and together we will make the world a better place.”

Nicholas and Ed and our Marvell partners have been giving interviews for two days leading up to this morning’s announcement.  Other news writeups:

33 thoughts on “XO-3 update: OLPC and Marvell partner to design a line of tablets

  1. I was wondering if we can purchase lets say 100 or more laptops and download information on our end and send them to children in our Bahai Schools and Childrens or Junior Youth programs around the world? we are in every country on earth. Plus …I am interested in the tablets …

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  10. This isn’t a comment, but I HAVE to know ARE THESE GOING TO BE AVAILABLE IN THE USA? I mean, why not? Other countries aren’t the only place children need laptops. PLEASE tell me this will be available in America too!

    Reply: Yes, we are working to make the tablets more widely available. And XOs have always been available in batches (of 100 or more) to schools in the US as well as elsewhere – we have deployments in Alabama and Pennsylvania for instance.

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  16. Thanks SJ but you miss the “h” of “http” in the link in your post.
    Hehehe Adam is the most frenchy guy at OLPC 😉

  17. Viv – not at present, though the first Marvell machines are likely to be available for purchase next Spring.

    Platypus – a good point. I believe they had to agree to rebrand Xavier’s kids the XO-Men and to have them fight ignorance in future films; which is a start.

    Lional – superb, thank you. Now Adam has a version of the post he can read as well.

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  29. Marvell Comics at least will add to the popularity and I don’t see how it can harm as long as they stay focused on the mission of OLPC. I just hope they don’t become a vehicle for the big comic book Hollywood movies. Hopefully they share the same vision in bringing education to children and not viewing them as potential revenue source for their comic book merchandise.

  30. This really isn’t a comment. I have a question and that is…are these $100 computers available in the USA for us to buy? I only see that these computers are available to other countries. I have grandchildren that I would love to purchase a couple of them for. And if we can purchase them how or where can they purchased at?

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