“While the availability of power in certain regions of the world cannot be solved by the OLPC, it can improve upon the power use of the XO Laptop. And with v1.75 they have managed to half that power use. The reason this has been made possible is the move to use an ARM rather than an x86 processor. So now rather than drawing 4 watts of power, the XO-1.75 draws 2 watts. The new chip being used is a 1GHz Armada 610 from Marvell.” Update : Here are some clarifications regarding the use of ARM chips and Linux at OLPC.
Move to ARM Chip Cuts XO Laptop Power Use to 2 Watts
2011-01-10 4:57 pmCoolGoose
No need to demonstrate that every community has a troll in it.
XO is a nice project, didn’t quite come trough but the idea is good and they’re polishing up the implementation.
2011-01-11 4:43 pmdjitanium
No need to demonstrate that there are still people who think the XO is a great product.
Some freetard: “Let’s build a new UI (Sugar) that is different from that of every other operating system- that way if the kids actually learn to use a real computer, they will have to learn all over again! Splendid idea!”
It would be better to give the kids crack.
2011-01-12 6:25 amYama
No, it would be crack for kids to be forced to use a UI originally designed in the 1960s for office workers. It’s not about learning the computer, it’s about the computer being intuitive enough for the specific purpose of children’s education. They should be able to get straight to learning about what they’re supposed to be learning, not wasting their time fiddling around with a suboptimal UI. What use are office metaphors such as files, folders, etc. to a child who has never seen an office?
I’ve seen loads of kids just open an XO and start doing interesting things with it within minutes, by themselves. It’s an amazing sight to watch.
XO should have shipped with ARM from the start.
2011-01-10 9:39 pmYama
No, ARM was not useful for anything larger than a mobile phone back in 2005 when XO-1 design started in 2005.
2011-01-10 10:05 pmdarknexus
Actually it was. They could’ve easily run Sugar on top of an embedded Linux or Windows CE os. If they were going for low power, that’s what they should’ve done. Embedded Linux would’ve probably been more useful at the time, since full apps would run on it instead of just mobile stuff. Certainly it wouldn’t have been a Cortex A9 or Snapdragon, but for the XO’s intended use it wouldn’t have needed one anyway. Remember, the XO was intended as a low power, low cost machine, not a workhorse.
2011-01-10 10:27 pmYama
Perhaps I should qualify myself (didn’t before because I was in a hurry): I’m the CTO at OLPC Australia. So yes, I have some idea of what I’m talking about
ARM was not yet ripe for laptop-type applications, and the company was not focusing there either. AMD’s Geode was the best choice at the time.
Edited 2011-01-10 22:27 UTC
2011-01-11 11:31 amviton
Did you ever heard of Archimedes? Or RISCOS ?
2011-01-11 12:46 pmYama
Yes, I used them at school. That doesn’t change the fact that the ARM of 2005 was not appropriate for the XO. I suggest that you take you take your question up with OLPC engineering if you are so sure that their decision was incorrect.
In my experience with the laptops I have had, the screen can drain the battery more quickly than the processor when using in regular/low load scenarios (web browsing, music).
2011-01-10 4:37 pmssokolow
“LCD power consumption: 0.1 Watt with backlight off; 0.2â€“1.0 Watt with backlight on;” — http://laptop.org/en/laptop/hardware/specs.shtml
Remember, they’re using the custom-designed “transflective” Pixel Qi screen that a lot of potential tablet buyers are clamoring to see in developed-world products.
2011-01-10 5:48 pmrob_mx
Thanks for the info.
Seems to be the same technology as the one used in the Notion Ink’s Adam. I want one laptop/tablet with a screen like that.
Edited 2011-01-10 18:02 UTC
2011-01-10 6:46 pmbnolsen
Yeah pixel qi can’t get off their asses quickly enough.
I think they’ll be indispensable for tablet use. And I would *really* like to see the day when I can replace my 28″ light blasting monitor with something that uses ambient light for display.
Of course we’d just be replacing the LCD lighting with some other active lighting (I usually keep the lights off when I’m working on my computer).
2011-01-10 7:27 pmNeolander
Myself, I think OLED would be a better fit for multimedia : it’d be very hard to get some uniform, neutral white when using transflective displays, though they are perfect for text-based tasks like web browsing, word processing, and ebooks.
And if we used OLED, we’d already stop needlessly wasting energy in subtractive color mixing.
2011-01-10 10:33 pmElv13
OLED does not work under sun light
2011-01-10 10:52 pmRadio
It does, thanks to good luminosity and contrasts. The super AMOLED also has less layers (the capacitive sensors are integrated with the light-emitting layer), so you have less absorption, reflection and whatnot.
As Samsung is still studying and showing transparent AMOLED screens while staying mum on any practical use case for it, I think they are planning (long-term) to mix e-paper and OLED, to make a screen legible under all light conditions. Depends if PixelQi becomes popular.
2011-01-11 1:54 amYama
I have great trouble reading my Samsung Galaxy S (super AMOLED) screen in sunlight. My OLPC XOs (Pixel Qi) look fantastic and clear. You get triple the resolution (albeit at monochrome) in direct sunlight. That’s comparable with e-ink.
2011-01-11 10:37 amNeolander
Neither do LCD screens since they made that terrible decision to put a shiny layer on top of them. On the other hand, I never use my laptop outside. For a cellphone on the other hand, where we don’t have high color quality standards and which we often use outside, PixelQi could be a better fit. We’ll see how well each goes…
Pedantry mode: Off.
Please continue with your regularly scheduled activities.
2011-01-10 6:30 pmNeolander
Well, the typo was there in the linked article, right ? ^^
I can’t help but wonder at the timing of this announcement. Microsoft officially confirms that they plan to have Windows and Office for ARM, and barely a week later we get this. Some might wonder if there’s more to this timing than coincidence. This is what they should’ve done from the start. A 2w power consumption might’ve helped the XO get further. Now though, they wait for Windows to do what they could’ve done in the beginning? How very interesting.
2011-01-11 1:57 amYama
The ARM version of the XO laptop has been in development for three years! This isn’t something that was invented out of thin air instantaneously.
Read this from OLPC’s VP of Hardware Engineering: http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1941464&cid=34810832
This looks like it might be good for the One Laptop Per Country project the UN are working on for Al Gore
Seriously though, I do like where things are going, ARM-wise.
I’ve been waiting for a few years now for somebody to make a netbook with an ARM processor. This XO sounds like what I want. Question is, can I buy one? I wouldn’t mind paying more than $199 (but still within reason), with the extra cash going to help fund the project. I don’t think I’d be too happy with Sugar, but I assume I could install Ubuntu for ARM on this, right?
So, any way to order one?
2011-01-11 11:35 amviton
I’ve been waiting for a few years now for somebody to make a netbook with an ARM processor. Question is, can I buy one?
You can buy http://www.genesi-usa.com/products/smartbook
(android, ubuntu in development)
and even possible https://www.alwaysinnovating.com/store/home.php
Edited 2011-01-11 11:37 UTC
Too bad the XO is still a piece of crap and a technological failure. Silly freetards. You make the open source movement look like a three ring circus.