OLPC and Marvell announce the XO-3 tablet

Also: The first Marvell ARMADA-powered XO 1.75 laptop will begin shipping in March to school children in Uruguay and Nicaragua

SANTA CLARA, Calif. / LAS VEGAS (Jan. 9, 2012) – Marvell Semiconductor (Nasdaq: MRVL), a worldwide leader in integrated silicon solutions, and One Laptop per Child, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping every child in the world gain access to a modern education, demonstrated a version of the much-anticipated XO 3.0 – a low-cost, low-power, rugged tablet computer designed for classrooms around the globe – at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show.

“We’re proud to introduce the XO 3.0 tablet, showcasing the design, durability and performance features that make it a natural successor for our current laptops, which have been distributed to more than 2.4 million children in 42 countries and in 25 languages,” said Ed McNierney, Chief Technology Officer of One Laptop per Child. “The XO 3.0 builds on many of the technology breakthroughs we made with the XO 1.75, including the use of the Marvell® ARMADA® PXA618 processor, resulting in a significant decrease in power consumption-a critical issue for students in the developing world.”

“Marvell is committed to improving education–and the human condition-around the world through innovative technology for Smartphones, tablets and a myriad of new cloud-delivered services. Partnering with One Laptop Per Child is one way we can deliver a revolution where it matters most-to benefit children in some of the poorest places on the planet,” said Tom Hayes, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Marvell, and a member of the OLPC advisory board. “Marvell has been with One Laptop per Child from the start, and we’re doing whatever it takes to help the organization realize its mission of providing meaningful educational opportunities to the 500 million school-aged children around the world.”

Marvell and One Laptop per Child also announced today that the XO -1.75 laptop will begin shipping to customers in March 2012. Over 75,000 units of the XO 1.75 have already been ordered by OLPC projects in Uruguay and Nicaragua. Both models use the Marvell ARMADA PXA618 SOC processor, which doubles the performance of the earlier XO 1 while using only half the power. The XO 1.75 features a sunlight-readable screen, and all other features and design characteristics of the two previous versions of the XO laptop.

The XO 3.0 tablet will also feature the Avastar Wi-Fi system-on-chip.
It is also the only tablet that can be charged directly by solar panels, hand cranks and other alternative power sources

Other features include:

• Updated Pixel Qi sunlight-readable display
• Choice of Android or Linux operating systems
• Unique charging circuitry to support alternate power sources
• Choice of laptop covers, including one with built-in solar panel

XO-3 news around the world

News about the Marvell partnership and accelerated XO-3 roadmap are hitting newswires in other languages (in French, in Spanish, in German); they tend to be confused about what will be available when at what cost.  Still, it’s fascinating to read some of the international views on what this means.

In English, there’s a discussion about the new design online:

Charbax: Marvell openly aims to fulfill OLPC’s design and pricing goal,
Wayan: OLPC will be working to sell Moby tablets,
mavrothal: How XO-1.5 will fare, if new big deployments materialize and what the data show can change everything,
sola: It is enough to customize a well-built reference design and port [Sugar] to ARM… sell the new XOs through every possible sales channel

And even Larry Dignan gets in on the chatter — saying that the real impact of the XO-3 will be to drive conversation about what tablets should do once they are omnipresent.

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.

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