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.