OLPC gets $5.6 million from Marvell to build Android tablet

OLPC logoThe One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization has received a $5.6 million grant from hardware component maker Marvell to fund the development of an Android-powered mobile tablet based on a Marvell reference design. The product, which is expected to be ready for a public demonstration at CES next year, is intended for the developed world.

In a statement to Xconomy, OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte explained that the Android tablet will likely not have OLPC branding and is a transitional step as the organization works to develop the XO-3, a tablet device for the developing world that will have more ambitious hardware and will run the Linux-based Sugar learning environment. The XO-3 will ship in 2012 and the Android tablet will supposedly be ready in 2011.

OLPC and Marvell announced a partnership earlier this year, but the $5.6 million grant is a new development. It could help OLPC as the organization continues to transition to a more mainstream product development model, especially given OLPC's failure to fulfill its original goal of delivering a ubiquitous $99 laptop for education. Intel's competing Classmate PC has shipped in higher volume, and commercial netbook vendors have played a larger role in bringing down the cost of budget mobile computing products.

OLPC downsized half of its staff last year and discontinued development of its Sugar software platform after the organization's fund-raising efforts failed to raise sufficient funds. Development on future projects, like an ambitious dual-screen laptop concept, largely halted. Funding from Marvell and a product aimed at the first-world could help OLPC move forward.

Source: ars technica

Tags: Android, Marvell, OLPC, tablets

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