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12 March 2009, 16:47

OLPC XO-2 may use ARM-based processors

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According to several reports, the next version of the OLPC (XO-2) may stop using x86 processors and switch to ARM-based processors to improve battery life. The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project is a non-profit organisation who's mission is to provide children across the world with low cost laptops for the purposes of self-education.

The current OLPC, the XO-1, uses an x86 Geode chip from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). The goal of the possible processor change is to improve battery life in the upcoming OLPC, while also taking advantage of built in functionality, such as integrated graphics and wireless networking. Using an ARM-based chip, however, can have its drawbacks. While it's more than capable of running some Linux distributions and Windows Mobile, its not yet capable of running a full Windows OS. The developers want the XO-2 to be able to dual boot Linux and a full Windows OS, to give users a choice. According to Nicholas Negroponte, the leader of the OLPC project, they are in talks with Microsoft to develop a full version of the Windows OS for the XO-2.

The next version of the OLPC is due to be released in 18 months and it's hardware specifications have yet to be finalised.

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