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ARM Powered OLPC XO-1.75 Laptop Is Faster Than X86

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the hand-crank-technology dept.

Portables 229

Charbax writes "Not only is power consumption halved to less than two Watts and price of the motherboard reduced, the performance of the next generation OLPC Laptop is actually better for running full Fedora Linux compared to x86. Here's a video interviewing OLPC's CTO, Edward J. McNierney, where he explains how and why OLPC's world class engineers are making this change of CPU architecture. If OLPC XO-1 threatened Intel enough to start the netbook market and has reached two million poor kids in third-world countries thus far, XO-1.75 may help start the ARM-powered Linux laptop market. Do you think Fedora/Sugar will do, or should OLPC attract Chrome OS and Android solutions for education to get faster help from the big boys of Silicon Valley in bringing Linux software successfully to the next billion PC/laptop users?"

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Funny (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34909214)

It's the intel laptops that cost an ARM and a leg.

Re:Funny (4, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909470)

You had it and missed Anonymous!

They cost an ARM AMD a leg!

OLPC? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34910404)

Wasn't that some deluded project from the 90s? And it never worked? Why is there are story about it? Did the guy who start it die finally of old age? Was he waiting to use HURD on it?

Re:Funny (2)

ichthyoboy (1167379) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910458)

You had it and MIPSed Anonymous!

FTFY

Android for the masses (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909242)

If they plan to sell the machine widely so as to produce as many units as possible then ideally it would run Android. If they're only selling it for educational use then it doesn't much matter what is on it so long as it isn't (only?) Windows.

Re:Android for the masses (2)

aheath (628369) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909378)

I am not sure that Android would be any better than Sugar. I participated in the buy two get one program so that I could look at the original OLPC XO 1.0 laptop. I was not impressed by Sugar. I would prefer to see OLPC provide a path from the XO to a full blown Linux distribution that does not require children to learn a new UI. OLPC should stick to developing affordable hardware and ask Canonical to provide optimized versions of Edubuntu and Ubuntu for the OLPC XO-1.75 laptop.

Re:Android for the masses (4, Insightful)

takowl (905807) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909480)

... a full blown Linux distribution that does not require children to learn a new UI...

You know, I think any computer UI is likely to be a new one for many of the children they're targetting. They've got a rare chance to design an interface for people who don't already have expectations of how to use a computer. I know I'd take that opportunity to see if I could work out a better model.

Re:Android for the masses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34909496)

The kids in most of the countries that got one of the originals were not learning a new UI. They were just learning a UI.

Re:Android for the masses (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34909574)

You can't be serious. Gnome, KDE... both are terrible on the desktop. On a touchscreen, they flat-out wouldn't work. On a mobile device, they would be horrifyingly slow.

Android-based + XO-launcher + XO-UI-styles + XO-UI-theme could essentially mimic all the good parts of Sugar, but be infinitely more useful and powerful.

Re:Android for the masses (2, Interesting)

asnelt (1837090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909660)

I don't think Android would form the right basis. It was basically designed to be an entertainment consumption OS. It is not designed for IT productivity which would be an important part for kids in third-world countries (not the only one but an essential part). The goal should not be to create countries of consumption drones.

Re:Android for the masses (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909838)

No. It's YOU that can't be serious. First you start with an obviously false premise and then expect us to take for granted something that no one really knows for sure.

Tablets just aren't that widespread. Most of what people know about them is taken on "faith".

Besides. If one "unix" with a tweaked shell can be successful then so can another.

Re:Android for the masses (2)

Charbax (678404) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909610)

I think the OLPC laptops by default all come with a full fedora linux desktop, as you can see in the video, which the kids can easily dual-boot into if they want "advanced mode", with full Gnome desktop.

Re:Android for the masses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34910410)

True that, but we all know slashdotters rarely read the fine articles.

Re:Android for the masses (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909848)

I am not sure that Android would be any better than Sugar.

Well it would be if they ever intend to produce a tablet version. Come to that, it might be better for a desktop too since it would allow apps to be written in Java and developed on Windows, Linux or Mac. This could help enormously to popularize the project and might even allow some crossover with apps being a downloadable for other Android devices.

Re:Android for the masses (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909682)

If it ends up being anything like this
http://www.reghardware.com/2010/11/03/review_netbook_toshiba_ac100/ [reghardware.com]
then no.

Re:Android for the masses (1)

Charbax (678404) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909736)

That hardware is basically awesome, it's now just a question of software to make it fully Intel Atom netbook killer. It's nearly half the weight, potentially 50% of the price, runs 3x longer on a battery, may run even twice as much or more with a reflective Pixel Qi screen.

Re:Android for the masses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34910274)

You should probably watch the video because the inverviewer asked about android.

I think you may be over stating things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34909260)

I don't think the XO laptop kick started the netbook market for Intel. They were already on that path when XO came to the attention of the public. That and XO was not covered very heavily in the mainstream media.

Re:I think you may be over stating things... (3, Insightful)

Charbax (678404) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909490)

OLPC was founded in 2005 with the "$100 Laptop" idea which Bill Gates, Intel, everyone imediately poo-pooed. Intel's Asus Eee PC Atom platform was a direct reaction to OLPC's hype, Eee was promoted as $199 Laptop miod 2007 but introduced by the end of 2007 as a $399 netbook.

Re:I think you may be over stating things... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909560)

OLPC was founded in 2005 with the "$100 Laptop" idea which Bill Gates, Intel, everyone imediately poo-pooed.

And they have yet to come close to delivering a $100 anything. As well, they can talk about the specs of this latest version, but they have not yet actually built any.

Re:I think you may be over stating things... (4, Interesting)

Charbax (678404) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909666)

The $100 has always been target that can only be reached once more than 6 million units are mass manufactured, that was always the original idea. Intel tactics though, it has been proven in official state letters, successfully blocked OLPC from reaching countries like Nigeria, China, India, etc. But even though they "only" sold 2 million laptops to children in some of the poorest places in the world, you can find plenty videos online http://olpc.tv/ [olpc.tv] , see how the kids and teachers are using those daily, it's a huge success. I mean comon, OLPC may have deeply changed the lives of 2 million families in more or less very poor third world countries. Sure enough, it'd be better they reached 2 billion kids by now, by they I mean OLPC or anyone else in the industry. It's all about lowering cost and lowering power consumption of laptops and also bringing internet everywhere.

Re:I think you may be over stating things... (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909686)

An arm tablet/netbook can probably have a per unit production cost of under $100 if they opt for a relatively small screen and battery. It is definitely a lot cheaper than intel for similar power and endurance.

Re:I think you may be over stating things... (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909754)

The $100 has always been target that can only be reached once more than 6 million units are mass manufactured, that was always the original idea.

Than why bandy it about? It's an unrealistic number. They might as well say the can offer it for $50 if the make 20 million of them... It's a number pulled out of the sky that has no relationship to what will realistically happen.

By the way, I bought 4 of the original version (2 for me, 2 for Africa...)

Re:I think you may be over stating things... (1)

Charbax (678404) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909854)

2 billion kids are waiting. US spends billions dollars every day on useless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Why is it so unrealistic to have a vision where one actually puts money in educating the kids as soon as possible, before they grow old and miss their opportunity of getting inspiration to do big things in their future.

Re:I think you may be over stating things... (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909946)

US spends billions dollars every day on useless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This isn't about the US war in where ever. And the US ins't the only country neglecting "2 billion kids".

Re:I think you may be over stating things... (2)

Charbax (678404) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910020)

It's a US project made by the good people at the US MIT, without US initiative this project might not exist yet. Sure thing, I wish India, China, Europe, Saudi Arabia, all join together and make sure every child on this planet get a fair chance at education now. It's politics that decide the priorities and where to put the money, tax who and sponsor what. The idea is sure enough we need to build a few million more/better schools, and bring Internet to all. But, even though those things have to happen, better food, better health and security, we might as well give the children a school in a box which a Laptop has the potential to be.

Re:I think you may be over stating things... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910094)

It's a US project made by the good people at the US MIT...

Again, this has what if anything to do with US wars?

Re:I think you may be over stating things... (1)

Charbax (678404) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910236)

It's useful to compare things, analyse money transactions for understanding the value of things. For the price of 1 day of the US war in Afghanistan, all the kids of the whole country of Afghanistan could get a laptop. Shouldn't the head of military strategists consider that it may be worth it, that giving all the children in the whole country this type of tool could calm down some of the suicide bombers, might convert some of the extremists? Most of the girls in Afghanistan don't go to school at all, because they are scared or just not allowed to, why not give them this tool so they can at least try to learn themselves at home? You can't say this is not about politics.

Re:I think you may be over stating things... (0)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910280)

In the case of things useful to compare, you should note that the actual daily cost of the wars is a lot closer to 200 million (US), not several billion.

Re:I think you may be over stating things... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910368)

It's useful to compare things, analyse money transactions for understanding the value of things.

No, there is no relationship at all between the was being carried out by the US and a social program being carried out by some former MIT folks. None.

Re:I think you may be over stating things... (1)

Charbax (678404) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910476)

The relation is Governments and Money. It would absolutely be a military strategy to invest in education, every $1 spent on education could be worth 100x more towards bringing peace than every $1 spent on artillery or tanks.

Re:I think you may be over stating things... (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910026)

2 billion kids are waiting. US spends billions dollars every day on useless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Why is it so unrealistic to have a vision where one actually puts money in educating the kids as soon as possible, before they grow old and miss their opportunity of getting inspiration to do big things in their future.

It has been commented over and over that the best way to make the world a safer, saner and more friendly place is to improve education, heath care (and health care access) and develop healthy economies. The OLPC project is one among many that can actually make the world a better place by providing affordable computing.

Re:I think you may be over stating things... (1)

theillien (984847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909852)

And they have yet to come close to delivering a $100 anything. As well, they can talk about the specs of this latest version, but they have not yet actually built any.

That isn't the point. Charbax was responding to the ACs claim that the XO didn't kickstart the netbook market. Whether OLPC has delivered on its promises is another discussion entirely.

I want ARM power! (2)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909288)

I want to buy a powerful ARM laptop, with the fastest CPU, most cores and the biggest screen (15" is preferable).

Is there anything like this on the market?

Re:I want ARM power! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34909324)

I want ARM power!

Curls, reverse curls and seated presses are what you need to do.

Re:I want ARM power! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34909352)

What about cheese curls? I do those all the time!

Re:I want ARM power! (2)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909464)

I want to buy a powerful ARM laptop, with the fastest CPU, most cores and the biggest screen (15" is preferable).

Is there anything like this on the market?

No, not really. Dual-core 2Ghz ARM chips are supposed to come out this year.

I just bought a Tegra 2 tablet to play around with (got the Viewsonic G-Tablet for cheaper than it would have cost to upgrade my midrange Android phone). It's all right. But the performance system you're looking for is still a ways off.

Re:I want ARM power! (3, Interesting)

Charbax (678404) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909554)

I also filmed a 14" 2Ghz ARM Cortex-A9 laptop at CES, see here: http://armdevices.net/2011/01/07/nufront-arm-powered-laptops/ [armdevices.net] In Europe Toshiba has released the best looking ARM Cortex-A9 Tegra2 Powered 10.1" Laptop, it's available for 160 euros for new (sub $200 retail price, consider Europeans pay approx 25% taxes). The only problem with that Toshiba AC-100 is current lack of decent laptop-oriented software, the Android that's loaded on it is not mature enough and Toshiba is very secretive about software update status. That Toshiba AC-100 has been rooted and impressive hackers have loaded Ubuntu on it but it's buggy for now, sound doesn't work yet for example, and it's risky to install, some people have bricked their units doing it. Shuttleworth said at recent Ubuntu conference that the Toshiba AC-100 is his favorite device. Much more may be coming soon in ARM Powered laptop segment. You can follow my site if you want news, or even post your news on it if you find something.

Hand crank charge (1)

valnar (914809) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909290)

"OLPC has learned from experience that finding electricity is the main problem in getting the XO laptops to kids in developing countries. Many areas lack electricity, making it hard to recharge laptops. The group has come up with a number of novel ways to recharge the laptop's batteries.

McNierney recharged the XO-1.75 with a hand crank. It takes 1 hour and 47 minutes to fully recharge the battery by hand, he said."

I'll be expecting to see this on a remake of Gilligan's Island in the future.

Re:Hand crank charge (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909328)

The Professor did better than this. They pedaled a bicycle to recharge batteries on the island.

Re:Hand crank charge (1)

HouseOfMisterE (659953) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909406)

They stirred salt water in coconut shells once to charge the batteries from their portable radio. That Professor was a smart guy!

Re:Hand crank charge (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909430)

Too bad it never occurred to him to turn the VFO into an HF transmitter to send an SOS and get off the island, though...

Re:Hand crank charge (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34909674)

He'd already run afoul of the FCC for doing that in the past. He was worried they'd triangulate his position before a passing ship could rescue them. He'd rather take the odds of not getting rescued over pissing off the FCC. :)

Re:Hand crank charge (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909760)

He was stranded on an island with two young, pretty women and just imbeciles as competition for their attentions. He was in no hurry to leave.

Re:Hand crank charge (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910250)

I can see that. Ginger was okay but the brunette was HOT!

Re:Hand crank charge (1)

mikeabbott420 (744514) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909788)

He never lost hope that he could get both Ginger and Mary Ann if the competition was old, fat and retarded.
At night he would go out and do what he could to obscure any traces of occupancy that might be visible from an airplane.
A devious and obsessed man.

Re:Hand crank charge (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909812)

As was said by Bob Denver, playing someone who look a lot like Gilligan, in "Back To The Beach": "[The professor] could build a nuclear
reactor out of a pineapple and a couple of coconuts, but he couldn't build a _boat_!"

Re:Hand crank charge (1)

valnar (914809) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909762)

Yes, that is a classic episode.

Build them and an app store. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909306)

Build the hardware and sell it at cost or maybe less then create an app store to make more money.
WIth that money develop new version and or subsidize the sale of the hardware.
If you want to put a GPL app in the store it is free if you want to put in a none GPL it costs x and if the app isn't free as in beer you take y% of the price.

Not only are you getting the device into the hands of people that really could use them but you are opening up development and ways of making a live to people that may not have the opportunity otherwise.

Re:Build them and an app store. (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909612)

Build the hardware and sell it at cost or maybe less then create an app store to make more money.

Huh? So, only the "rich" poor people can afford the "cool" apps?

Besides, it already has a free "app store" (AKA activity repository [opensuse.org] ).

openSUSE has packaged about 50 activities in total for Sugar, with more activities available for installation from the sugarlabs.org activities repository. Activities that haven't been packaged can be downloaded directly from http://activities.sugarlabs.org/ [sugarlabs.org] and installed by the user through the browse interface (the repository is similar to firefox addons.)

Re:Build them and an app store. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909624)

Why not let people charge for GPL (and other free) apps as well? It's permitted by the GPL. The FSF is quite clear that you can do this with their blessing.

Re:Build them and an app store. (1)

Charbax (678404) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909688)

Definitely they should add Android apps support somehow, I think the kids in Peru are going to enjoy Angry Birds.

Re:Build them and an app store. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34909700)

Yeah, sure, get them entrenched in the false economy of IP right away, so that they don't have to be bombed into submission later.

Re:Build them and an app store. (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909712)

Build the hardware and sell it at cost or maybe less then create an app store to make more money.

Yeah, brilliant plan. Surely no one will figure a way around that. All they have to do is install DRM on Linux for that to work, which will surely be bulletproof. Ask Sony or Apple or anyone else trying to have a monopoly for software on hardware they built but no longer own.

Arm powered ARM powered computer? (5, Funny)

schlachter (862210) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909310)

Anyone else notice that they are building an Arm powered ARM powered computer? Now requiring only half as many cranks.

Re:Arm powered ARM powered computer? (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909362)

The OLPC hasn't had the integral crank since the design phase.

Re:Arm powered ARM powered computer? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910308)

Dumb move. I kind of wanted one, but if they've nixed the crank, then what's the point. I know that they get really good battery life, but I thought a part of the point of it was not needing to plug them in.

Re:Arm powered ARM powered computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34909578)

Now it only needs an OS built by cranks to operate the crank-powered computer. But GNU/Hurd keeps getting nowhere. /I keed because I love

Re:Arm powered ARM powered computer? (1, Funny)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909616)

My family and friends insist that I'm seriously cranky, so I volunteer. Half - 1.

Re:Arm powered ARM powered computer? (1)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909680)

If cranks can power an OLPC, Slashdot should be able to light up Las Vegas.

Re:Arm powered ARM powered computer? (1)

anexanhume (1375619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909684)

And you don't need to take out an ARM on your house to afford one.

Re:Arm powered ARM powered computer? (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909824)

Relative to the average income in a third-world country, it does cost an ARM and a leg.

Re:Arm powered ARM powered computer? (1)

anexanhume (1375619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909858)

Last I checked, they don't offer ARMs on shacks. Jesus, this thread just got depressing. Let's kill a baby seal to liven things up.

Re:Arm powered ARM powered computer? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910034)

Yeah, you need to keep away from all those minefields.

Re:Arm powered ARM powered computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34910292)

You're forgetting to count all the cranks who came up with the OLPC idea in the first place.

Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (4, Informative)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909498)

The original XO-1 uses an AMD Geode LX 800, which was released in 2002/2003 or thereabouts. This latest XO-1.75 uses a Marvell Armada 610, and the marketing material I'm looking at from Marvell has a copyright of 2010 on it. The CPU in there is a Marvell Sheeva which the earliest reference I can find is from 2008, but that's not even a fair date because that's when they announced it, not shipped it.

So yes, this processor is faster than an 8-year-old AMD Geode. I would like to see power/performance tradeoffs vs. today's Atom and AMD Fusion stuff before everyone goes nuts about how ARM is faster than x86 for half the power.

Re:Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909546)

That's what I was waiting for. I didn't believe for a second this ARM-powered box was anywhere near as fast as the current x86 offerings.

Re:Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909714)

It does not need to be, it only needs to be faster/watt.

Re:Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909864)

Yes. Because the measure of a computer is how much power it consumes.

No. If you need to do something computational then you need to do something computational. There's just no getting around it really. There are some limited edge cases where you can tailor hardware to a select few computational use cases but sooner or later you will probably want to wander off into unusual territory. THAT after all is what a general purpose machine is for.

Call a spade a spade and cut out the fraud and nonsense.

Re:Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (3, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910074)

Yes. Because the measure of a computer is how much power it consumes.

Do you know what the word "per" means?

It's perfectly valid to measure efficiency in the form "stuff you get out per stuff you put in". Miles per gallon, for example.

You aren't the target market (2)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910078)

OLPC is targeted at...shockingly enough...children in the third world. Where you don't have power outlets scattered around the house every 12'. As such, low-power is a critical requirement.

If they were rich enough for a power grid, they wouldn't need the aid.

Re:Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (1)

dirtyhippie (259852) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909548)

Yeah, it's a misleading title, to say the least. Should have said "... faster than X86 version" or so.

Re:Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909608)

Well, it could mean it's just faster than some x86. I would say it outperforms a 386.

Re:Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909584)

Atom is a power hungry son of a bitch compared to Arm gear. The lowest power PineView based one is at 6.5 Watts and that is the CPU alone, the Arm stuff is all SoC. The whole SoC power budget is going to be less than that.

Once you start to value power consumption above all else Arm really starts to make sense. When you can plug in your laptop every couple hours well less so.

Re:Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (1)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909732)

So you're saying an ARM SoC is lower powered than an x86 system? I agree! That's not what the title of the article says though.

Re:Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909866)

The title refers to the x86 version of the OLPC, clearly. I believe that. I also believe that these ARM SoCs are faster than any x86 system constrained to the same power budget.

Re:Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909894)

Atom is a power hungry son of a bitch compared to Arm gear.

It also performs a whole lot better. In x86 terms, the raw CPU power of an ARM is like a Pentium 300Mhz.

Intel might even be able to throw together some recycled 90s technology with comparable performance and end up with something ARMs equal in power.

That was the model for mobile computing for a time (adapt outdated desktop tech).

Re:Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (0)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910344)

Benchmarks?

Re:Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909926)

Or, alternatively, put a chip with four of those instead of one. Being faster with one means you'd suddenly be more than four times faster than x86 at the same power.

Re:Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (1)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909602)

Definitely faster than an Intel 8086 [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (1)

Charbax (678404) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909708)

You won't find a sub-5Watt system (including the screen) running Intel Atom or AMD Fusion, so those cannot be compared. Why AMD or Intel don't go lower power, go ask them. the VIA Nano allows for a 4Watt system, which is a bit lower than AMD Geode.

Re:Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910326)

You can do a lot if you're changing the instruction set that drastically. The AMD and Intel processors in use today include a lot of kludge from previous revisions which are necessary for backwards compatibility. I don't think that you need an emulator for the processor bit until you get at least to the 386 and probably not till earlier revisions. You can still run DOS on modern hardware if you wish, you mostly just don't get all the features or the RAM.

Re:Um, faster than...an 8 year old x86 (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910046)

You're calling this a false comparison because the title/summary are vague, and you have an expectation of comparing modern to modern. But that's far from the only way of comparison. Often you'll see products compare model-to-model. "We've managed to squeeze 13% more mpg out of this year's vehicle" or "we've added feature X to the new version" or "we've fixed 100 more bugs this release than we did last release."

Sounds to me like the article (which, of course, I've not read, and don't plan on) is comparing the next-generation of the OLPC to the previous-generation of the OLPC. That is a fair comparison. They're not trying to get into a design debate with geeks like us. They're telling everyone that their design is different, and one of the benefits they got was a faster system.

You're right that it's not as big of a deal as the title sounds when considering the choices they could have made staying on x86. But they had other goals, met (most of) them and still managed to come out ahead of the previous offering in raw speed. As a package, it sounds like a pretty decent thing, though I don't think any of it was OLPC's design or hard work. They just took components, stuck 'em together, and measured what they ended up with. The amazing thing to me is how fast ARM is coming along speed-wise without giving up on the power consumption. Which, of course, has no bearing on OLPC, and doesn't help them sell product. So if they want to sell stuff, they gotta make it sound like it's their uniqueness in the market that is making progress rather than just being another computer store selling other companies' parts simply smooshed together.

Faster then any x86 based computer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34909532)

Take that Intel!

Chrome, Android = Google, right? (0)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909642)

I have a bad feeling about this.

Re:Chrome, Android = Google, right? (1)

Charbax (678404) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909792)

How much is Google spending on non-profit projects per year? Billions of dollars? Wouldn't it be good if the craze that goes on around Android and Chrome could be fully utilized by a global education project instead of these things happening separately? If OLPC can find a way to make it central to the whole Mobile Computing trend to also support full productivity, full educational purposes, real usefulness and not only Angry Birds. That could be very positive couldn't it?

Don't bother with Android (5, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909678)

It doesn't solve a problem that XO has. Linux fits very well.

Windows on ARM doesn't solve any problem XO has either, and potentially causes some, like licensing and lock-in. between you and me, if we're gonna start kids off with computers in the Third World, Linux makes WAY more sense than Windows. Even more than Android. Crome is not ready, and the cloud may not be Third-World-Friendly for a long time. try not to rely on resources that are either not available, cost more than food, or can be taken away by other nations, or even their own.

If ever there was a project that leverages the maximum potential for freedom via the Internet, this is it. Really, give the kids someething they can work with and watch out. Somethings wonderful will happen.

Re:Don't bother with Android (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910090)

Licensing, ad tracking and lock-in is all an Apple, Microsoft or Google has. Think of the shareholders, trusts and sovereign wealth funds that need that flow of new consumers.
The world faced this with oil and mineral rights after decolonisation.
Past generations sold out to Washington or Moscow, expect the same with MS and Google.
Linux is the perfect fit, but will it be seen as a hardware base for a night of the long install by a MS or Google as a national 'gift'.

Re:Don't bother with Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34910342)

Linux kernel is the operating system because it is a monolithic kernel and not a microkernel (as GNU people likes to call it to be).

Android use Linux. Android is Linux operating system.
MeeGo use Linux. Meego is Linux operating system.
Google Chrome OS use Linux. Chrome OS is Linux operating system.
WebOS use Linux. WebOS is Linux operating system

XO computer use Linux with Sugar GUI. It has same way a Linux OS as Android, MeeGo, Chrome OS, WebOS and so on.

The Linux operating system has proofed that monolithic operating systems has not died like almost everyone told to happen in early 90's and the Server-Client architecture would be only correct OS architecture to be used.

Linux has conquerored the whole world, but not in front of the people, but behind the marketing forces. We have TV's, DVR's, ADSL/Cable modems, cellphones, smartphones, desktop computers, laptops, servers, supercomputers, rest of the embedded systems etc etc controlled by Linux OS.

Linux is something what FSF never got work with HURD operating system. So they needed to start a black campaining against Linux. MS fears Linux so it has already learn it is better to be a quiet than even trying to fight against it.

Same chipset as the Marvell Moby reference design (1)

davide marney (231845) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909842)

Gigahertz-class CPU, integrated full HD 1080p encode and decode, 6MP image captures, integrated audio processing engine, advanced 3D graphics. Renders 45Million triangles-per-second. Includes 802.11n wireless, Bluetooth 3.0, HDMI, USB 2.0, 3G Baseband, SD/MMC card, and camera. It is powerful enough to simultaneously decode 4 1080p video streams at a time. Some videos of an early reference design here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s17KwfzTFY [youtube.com]

So poor kids are using it... (1)

Targon (17348) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909878)

Poor children and those in third world countries generally are not customers who would be spending money. This is a key point to this whole issue, where the idea that just because there may be thousands or even hundreds of thousands of users does not mean that there is a lot of money that can be gained from that market. Two billion of these machines will still not end up as profitable for software developers as two million regular PCs running MacOS or Windows for that reason.

Re:So poor kids are using it... (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910294)

Actually they will but not in next quarter. Companies need to wait that children grows up and they start searching software or other products for their own computers.

Companies should do same thing what tobacco companies did what was to make a toy cigarettes and similar things for them to play. Later when children was a teen and wanted to try smoking, they toke the familiar brand.

The tobacco companies understanded the long run marketing and branding what will give big profits in years to come.

But computer world lives only in quarters and they do not understand that the brand needs to be made so strong that child remembers it when they are a teens.

Why android over standard Linux? (4, Interesting)

chipwich (131556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34909908)

As I've watched Android dominate the tablet market, I'm bothered by the fact that these devices do not give root access without "jailbreaking". Isn't Android a major step toward the very scary world of "Trusted Computing"? That is, the hardware manufacturer, government, or whoever else has power can deny the ability for a user to run a program (or all programs!) at whim. Right out of the box, the user is denied permission to use their hardware in the way that they see fit.

I feel much more comfortable with a full Linux distro that empowers its users, rather than makes them comfortable with someone else holding the keys to their machine. Besided, android hardly seems compatible with the "open" goals of OLPC. A full distro would take advantage of a real JVM and a much richer software eco-structure instead.

MeeGo? (2)

Kryptonut (1006779) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910012)

What about MeeGo? [meego.com] Already runs on the Nokia N900's ARM processor.

YEAH !! RIGHT !! WHAT A TARGET MARKET !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34910102)

Just like linux, the third-world and dirt-poor. Just think, I lose $32 a unit but I make it up in volume !! SHeez, no wonder Linux users are STUPID users !! Mod this if you agree !! Moooohahahahahha !!

Dump Lin-sux and Lamedroid: ask Apple for iOS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34910162)

One upon a time, Apple offered the OLPC people *FREE* copies of OS X and like the MORONS that the OLPC folks are, are they turned Apple down (and just look at how Lin-sux KILLED the OLPC project). Well here's an opportunity to dump the crappy quality of "open sores" software and go with something that RULES THE DAY. Just be sure to ask very very nicely because you IDIOTS turned Apple down once, but now you are desperate.

ARM Powered OLPC XO-1.75 Laptop Is Faster Than X8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34910212)

And here I thought x86 referred to an instruction set or cpu architecture or some such. Can this amazing laptop also leap tall buildings in a single bound? I think the OLPC project is great, wish I could say the same for slashdot summaries...

Negroponte, please (0)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 3 years ago | (#34910438)

Why again should the developed world hand out laptops to the rest of the world?

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