OLPC - One Laptop Per Child Project

The One Laptop Per Child project wants to put a low cost laptop computer into the hands of every child in primary schools in developing countries. The idea is to give children a tool for taking their own education into their own hands so they will learn more.

The One Laptop Per Child project wants to put a low cost laptop computer into the hands of every child in primary schools in developing countries. The idea is to give children a tool for taking their own education into their own hands so they will learn more.

The OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project was founded by Nicholas Negroponte with a core of Media Lab veterans. The laptop has a user interface that graphically embraces the spirit of the network. It is all about community and collaboration, working and playing together to learn, create and communicate.

The laptop, called the XO-9, is a learning tool created expressly for children in developing countries, living in some of the most remote environments. The XO laptop was designed collaboratively by experts from both academia and industry, bringing to bear both extraordinary talent and many decades of collective field experience for every aspect of this nonprofit humanitarian project.

The laptop helps children build upon their active interest in the world around them to engage with powerful ideas. Tools for writing, composing, simulating, expressing, constructing, designing, modeling, imagining, creating, critiquing, debugging, and collaborating enable children to become positive, contributing members of their communities.

The laptop gives learners opportunities they have not had before. Tools such as a Web browser, rich media player, and e-book reader bring into reach domains of knowledge that are otherwise difficult or impossible for children to access. The XO software is 100% open source, running Red Hat's Fedora Linux operating system with "Sugar" (Sugar is the core of the OLPC Human Interface.)

Green laptops In November 2007 OLPC launched their Give One Get One program in North America, where if you pay $400, you can buy one of their new OX laptops for your child at home and a second one for a child in a developing country.

One Laptop Per Child Mission Statement:

To create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning. While children are by nature eager for knowledge, many countries have insufficient resources to devote to child education.

Their commitment to software freedom gives children the opportunity to use their laptops on their own terms.

The laptop not only delivers the world to children, but also brings the best practices of children and their teachers to the world. Each school represents a learning hub; a node in a globally shared resource for learning.

One Laptop per Child Foundation:

The One Laptop per Child Foundation is supported by individuals, businesses and foundations and is a tax-exempt (501c3) social-benefit organization chartered in the State of Delaware and headquartered at One Cambridge Center, Cambridge Massachusetts, 02142.

Contributions large and small are greatly appreciated and will be used to support grassroots learning innovations throughout the lesser-developed world.

Contributions may be sent to:

OLPC Foundation
P.O. Box 425087
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142

For the techies the XO laptop specifications are below:

Physical dimensions:

* Approximate dimensions: 242mm by 228mm by 32mm;
* Approximate weight: 1.45KG with LiFeP battery; 1.58KG with NiMH battery;
* Configuration: Convertible laptop with pivoting, reversible display; dirt- and moisture-resistant system enclosure; no fan.

Core electronics:

* CPU: x86-compatible processor with 64KB each L1 I and D cache; at least 128KB L2 cache; AMD Geode;
* CPU clock speed: 433 Mhz;
* ISA compatibility: Support for both the MMX and 3DNow! x86 instruction-set extensions; Athlon instruction set (including MMX and 3DNow! Enhanced) with additional Geode-specific instructions;
* Companion chips: PCI and memory interface integrated with CPU; North Bridge: PCI and Memory Interface integrated with Geode CPU; AMD CS5536 South Bridge (datasheet);
* Graphics controller: Integrated with Geode CPU; unified memory architecture;
* Embedded controller: ENE KB3700 or ENE KB3700B;
* DRAM memory: 256 MiB dynamic RAM;
* Data rate: Dual - DDR333 - 166 Mhz;
* 1024KB SPI-interface flash ROM;
* Mass storage: 1024 MiB SLC NAND flash, high-speed flash controller;
* Drives: No rotating media;
* CAFE ASIC (Camera, Flash Enabler chip, provides high-performance Camera, NAND FLASH and SD interfaces); Marvell 88ALP01: (CAFE specification).


* Liquid-crystal display: 7.5" Dual-mode TFT display;
* Viewing area: 152.4mm by 114.3mm;
* Resolution: 1200 (H) by 900 (V) resolution (200 DPI);
* Monochrome display: High-resolution, reflective sunlight-readable monochrome mode; Color display: Standard-resolution, Quincunx-sampled, transmissive color mode;
* LCD power consumption: 0.1 Watt with backlight off; 0.2-1.0 Watt with backlight on;
* The display-controller chip (DCON) with memory that enables the display to remain live with the processor suspended; the display and this chip are the basis of our extremely low power architecture; the display controller chip also enables deswizzling and anti-aliasing in color mode.

Integrated peripherals:

* Keyboard: 80+ keys, 1.0mm stroke; sealed rubber-membrane key-switch assembly;
Keyboard layout details;
o Keyboard layout pictures: international, Thai, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, West African, Urdu, Mongolian, Cyrillic, Amharic;
* Gamepad: Two sets of four-direction cursor-control keys;
* Touchpad: Dual capacitance/resistive touchpad; supports written-input mode; ALPS Electric Dual capacitive/resistive touchpad;
* Audio: AC97-compatible audio audio subsystem; internal stereo speakers and amplifier; internal monophonic microphone; jacks for external headphones and microphone; Analog Devices AD1888 and Analog Devices SSM2211 for audio amplification;
* Wireless networking: Integrated 802.11b/g (2.4GHz) interface; 802.11s (Mesh) networking supported; dual adjustable, rotating coaxial antennas; supports diversity reception; capable of mesh operation when CPU is powered down; Marvell Libertas 88W8388 controller and 88W8015 radio;
* Status indicators: Power, battery, WiFi (2); visible when lid is open or closed; microphone in-use and camera in-use visible when lid is open;
* Video camera: integrated color vision camera; 640 by 480 resolution at 30FPS; Omnivision OV7670.

External connectors:

* DC power: 6mm (1.65mm center pin) connector; 11 to 18 V input usable, -32 to 40 V input tolerated; power draw limited to 15 W;
* Headphone output: Standard 3.5mm 3-pin switched stereo audio jack;
* Microphone input: Standard 3.5mm 2-pin switched mono microphone jack; selectable 2V DC bias; selectable sensor-input mode (DC or AC coupled);
* USB: Three Type-A USB-2.0 connectors; up to 1A power supplied (total);
* Flash explansion: MMC/SD Card slot.


* Pack type: 2 or 4 cells LiFePO4; or 5 cells NiMH, approximately 6V series configuration;
* Capacity: 22.8 Watt-hours (LiFePO4); 16.5 Watt-hours (NiMH);
* Fully-enclosed "hard" case; user removable;
* Electronics integrated with pack provide:
* Identification;
* Battery charge and capacity information;
* Thermal and over-current sensors along with cutoff switch to protect battery;
* Minimum 2,000 charge/discharge cycles (to 50% capacity of new);
* Power management will be critical.


* Open Firmware used to load the operating system.

Environmental specifications:

* Temperature: UL certification planned to 45C in Q32007, pending 50C certification in mid-2008;
* Humidity: UL certification planned to IP42 (perhaps higher) when closed, the unit should seal well enough that children walking to and from school need not fear rainstorms and dust;
* Maximum altitude: -15m to 3048m (14.7 to 10.1 PSIA) (operating), -15m to 12192m (14.7 to 4.4 PSIA) (non-operating);
* Shock 125g, 2ms, half-sine (operating) 200g, 2ms, half-sine (non-operating);
* Random vibration: 0.75g zero-to-peak, 10Hz to 500Hz, 0.25 oct/min sweep rate (operating); 1.5g zero-to-peak, 10Hz to 500Hz, 0.5 oct/min sweep rate (nonoperating);
* 2mm plastic walls (1.3mm is typical for most systems).

Comments and Discussion

Questions and AnswersHave Your Say: We welcome relevant discussions, criticism and your unique insights. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved. NOTE: We do not verify information posted in the comment section.