OLPC set to release a modular, hybrid laptop that borrows from Project Ara's playbook

By Shawn Knight
Feb 19, 2015
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  1. Remember One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), the organization that builds educational devices for kids in the developing nations? They're set to announce a new XO-branded system soon that looks to borrow a page from Project Ara's playbook.

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  2. OLFM = One Laptop For Me
  3. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,587   +278

    Doing this with a smartphone with SOC designs is somewhat of a challenge as some functionality that is currently part of the System on a chip might need to be split from it requiring cooperation from SOC makers. Doing this with a laptop to me would mean making compromises compared to the connections currently used for components. With basic models I can't see an issue with it, but there is a reason why laptops opt for CPU soldered directly to a motherboard, and desktop motherboards have the existing array of pin connections on the motherboard socket and not just a single little connection. And enclosing performance components that generate a lot of heat in colourful little enclosures wouldn't be a good move either. A better move would be getting ISO or other standards accepted for battery connections, PSU connections and such. Memory is fine, MXM graphics daughter boards are ok (although as I've found myself not always upgrade-able), MSata is fine, and also wifi modules.

    To me this is just dumbing down rather than revolutionizing a device. I see one of the key benefits to the Ara project is allowing components to be upgraded so we aren't throwing away whole devices constantly, often wasting rare resources. I'm not sure this can be applied to the OLPC device as the manufacturers of the components are often changing pin counts on CPUs, wattage required for GPUs etc.

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