Last month at XDC2011 Chicago, I managed to get my hands on what should be the production hardware model of the XO-1.75 laptop that is expected to be released in the coming months by the OLPC project. The low-cost OLPC laptop targeted for students is now ARM-based and consumes very little power.
While the hardware for the OLPC XO-1.75 appears to be finalized and ready for mass production, the software stack is a work in progress. The software should be ready in the next month or two. In hopes of sparking interest by X.Org / Linux graphics developers at XDC2011 into working on its ARM graphics driver (or at least being in a better position to debug issues), OLPC sent out a few of these XO-1.75 units. I managed to get one of these early OLPC XO-1.75 laptops for benchmarking and to see what I can come up with to help them in monitoring the software performance and power consumption -- using the Phoronix Test Suite, OpenBenchmarking.org, etc. But due to Oktoberfest, I'm only now getting around to even opening the box and "un-bricking" the device so it can be loaded with one of their XO-1.75 development images of their Fedora-based Linux operating system.
The XO-1.75 design and external traits is just like that of the XO-1 and XO-1.5 laptops. Nothing has changed here, but on the inside, they have switched to ARM hardware. The OLPC XO-1.75 will ship with an Armanda 610 SoC with an 800MHz ARMv7 Marvell Sheva processor and a 3D engine that promises compelling performance and is capable of displaying 1080p video. There is 512MB of RAM on the XO-1.75 while the mass storage is provided by a mere 4GB NAND flash chip. The hardware is not as nice as the Qualcomm Snapdragon MDP or modern consumer devices like the HP TouchPad, but OLPC's target is a sub-$200 industrial-grade laptop for students. The Marvell Sheva is what's used by the PogoPlug and TonidoPlug, among other low-power devices.
On the OLPC XO-1.75 is a 7.5-inch TFT display capable of a gray-scale reflective mode (for sunny outdoor use or conserving power consumption) and a color backlight mode. For those interested in more details on the not-yet-released XO-1.75, visit the Laptop.org Wiki page. Expect more information about the OLPC XO-1.75 on Phoronix in the near future.
OLPC is also still designing the XO-3 tablet computer, which will use similar ARM hardware and is expected to ship at some point in the next calendar year.
Discuss this article in our forums, IRC channel, or email the author. You can also follow our content via RSS and on social networks like Facebook, Identi.ca, and Twitter (@Phoronix and @MichaelLarabel). Subscribe to Phoronix Premium to view our content without advertisements, view entire articles on a single page, and experience other benefits.