OLPC adopt Marvell Moby tablet platform for XO-3

OLPC have polarised opinion with their approach to computer systems for developing nations, and now the organisation has partnered with Marvell to try to deliver on their latest XO-3 tablet.  The new slates will be based on Marvell's Moby platform – as demonstrated back in March – and are unlikely to look like OLPC's ambitious, eye-catching renders.

They envisaged the XO-3 as a super-slim slate with an 8.5 x 11 inch touchscreen, water resistant casing and inductive charging system.  The Moby platform, however, is a little more mainstream in its abilities; all the OLPC press release confirms are video input, haptic feedback and multi-touch interfaces, as well as USB support for "traditional and non-traditional peripherals."

While Moby is also capable of 1080p HD video, that's unlikely to be a priority in the sort of environments the XO-3 will be deployed to.  Instead, they'll more likely be interested in its lengthy battery life potential and its integrated WiFi/Bluetooth/FM/GPS connectivity.  Pricing was originally tipped as $100 for the XO-3, back when OLPC were expecting it to arrive in 2012; they now say they've accelerated development and shaved off almost two years.

Press Release:

One Laptop per Child and Marvell Join Forces to Redefine the Tablet Computer

New Family of Tablets to Provide Rich Learning Environment at Low Cost

Cambridge, Mass. and Santa Clara, Calif., May 27, 2010 – One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a global organization whose mission is to help provide every child in the world access to a modern education, and Marvell, a worldwide leader in integrated silicon solutions, have signed an agreement to jointly develop the family of next-generation OLPC XO devices. The advanced tablet based on the Marvell® Moby platform will provide educators and children around the world with an affordable, rugged, low-power tool to explore, to create and to collaborate, as well as have access to 1.7 million free books.

In December 2009, OLPC announced plans to develop a student tablet computer called XO 3.0 by the end of 2012. By leveraging the Marvell Moby tablet reference design for the device, shipment of the XO 3.0 will be accelerated by nearly two-years. Marvell announced its Moby reference design for the education and healthcare markets in the last few months. The Company has also launched Mobylize, a global campaign aimed at improving technology adoption in the world's classrooms.

One of the most compelling practical applications of the Moby-based XO 3.0 is that it will make it possible for children, teachers, parents and communities around the world to access educational content that cannot be presented easily, or occasionally at all, in textbook form. The XO 3.0 will deliver a unique tablet experience that can support rich and engaging computing environments critical to a proper learning opportunity.

"While devices like eReaders and current tablets are terrific literary, media and entertainment platforms, they don't meet the needs of an educational model based on making things, versus just consuming them. Today's learning environments require robust platforms for computation, content creation and experimentation – and all that at a very low cost," said Dr. Nicholas Negroponte, Founder and Chairman of One Laptop per Child. "Through our partnership with Marvell, OLPC will continue our focus on designing computers that enable children in the developing world to learn through collaboration, as well as providing connectivity to the world's body of knowledge."

"Marvell has made a long-term commitment to improving education and inspiring a revolution in the application of technology in the classroom. The Moby tablet platform – and our partnership with One Laptop per Child – represents our joint passion and commitment to give students the power to learn, create, connect and collaborate in entirely new ways," said Weili Dai, Marvell's Co-founder and Vice President and General Manager of the Consumer and Computing Business Unit. "Marvell's cutting edge technology – including live content, high quality video (1080p full-HD encode and code), high performance 3D graphics, Full Flash Internet and two-way teleconferencing-gives every student, regardless of learning style, the tools they need to grow and succeed. I am immensely proud of the capability of our Moby tablet and I am extremely honored to partner with the inventor of the netbook market for education, Dr. Nicholas Negroponte. I applaud his leadership, vision, passion and together we will make the world a better place."

The new tablet computers from OLPC will feature video input, haptic feedback and multi-touch interfaces, as well as full USB support for traditional and non-traditional peripherals.

About the One Laptop per Child Foundation

The One Laptop per Child Foundation (OLPC at http://www.laptop.org) is a nonprofit organization created by Nicholas Negroponte and others from the MIT Media Lab to design, manufacture and distribute laptop computers that are inexpensive enough to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education. OLPC and MIT have at all times been and remain separate institutions.

About Marvell Moby Tablet Platform and Mobylize.org

Powered by a high-performance, highly scalable, and low-power Marvell ARMADA™ 610 application processor, the Moby tablet features gigahertz processor speed, 1080p full-HD encode and decode, intelligent power management, power-efficient Marvell 11n Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM/GPS connectivity, high performance 3D graphics and support for multiple software standards including full Adobe Flash, Android™, Windows Mobile and Ubuntu. The Moby platform also features a built–in camera for live video conferencing, multiple simultaneous viewing screens and Marvell's 11n Mobile Hotspot which allows Wi-Fi access that supports up to eight concurrent users connected to the Internet via a cellular broadband connection. The ultra low power mobile tablet is expressly for long-battery life. For more information, visit www.mobylize.org.

About Marvell

Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) is a world leader in the development of storage, communications, and consumer silicon solutions. The company's diverse product portfolio includes switching, transceiver, communications controller, wireless, and storage solutions that power the entire communications infrastructure including enterprise, metro, home, and storage networking. As used in this release, the terms "company" and "Marvell" refer to Marvell Technology Group Ltd. and its subsidiaries. For more information, visit http://www.marvell.com.