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Next OLPC to use ARM processors

Posted on Friday, March 13 2009 @ 00:25:12 CET by

The One Laptop Per Child project announced they will dump x86 processors. The current XO-1 laptop uses the AMD Geode x86 processors, but the upcoming XO-2 laptop, which is expected in 18 months, will use ARM-based processors to improve battery life.

The XO-1 uses an average of 5W, and the XO-2 will use less power, while offering more functionality. The only problem is that there's no Windows operating system for the ARM platform, but OLPC chairman Nicholas Negroponte is in talks with Microsoft to make Windows available on the ARM:
"We're seeing some very impressive system-on-chip (SOC) designs that provide both fundamentally low-power demands and the kind of fine-grained power management ... in the XO-1," McNierney said.

However, the Arm chip could lead to problems for XO-2 in trying to load a full version of Windows, Negroponte said. As with the XO-1, OLPC wants to offer a dual-boot option on XO-2 where users can choose to load either Linux or a full Windows OS. While Arm processors can run Windows Mobile operating systems, they can't run a full Windows OS.

"Like many, we are urging Microsoft to make Windows -- not Windows Mobile -- available on the Arm. This is a complex question for them," Negroponte said.



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