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OLPC XO-2 Will Feature Open Source Hardware



OLPC_XO_2_2-2-09 I don’t think this is particularly encouraging news, but maybe I’m wrong here. The folks behind the One Laptop Per Child initiative are saying that they are going to open source their hardware design for version 2. You’ll remember the design we’ve seen with the dual screen approach.


According to an interview in the Guardian linked to by Mobile Devices Today, Nicholas Negroponte and friends are thinking more along the lines of creating a reference design for the next generation and not the hardware itself.

"One important thing about the XO-2 is that we’re going to do it as an open source hardware programme. The XO-1 was really designed as if we were Apple. The XO-2 will be designed as if we were Google – we’ll want people to copy it. We’ll make the constituent parts available. We’ll try and get it out there using the exact opposite approach that we did with the XO-1."

We’ve still got a long time to wait to see how this develops but something tells me the reference design approach will push the expected 18 months a little longer.



  1. Pixel Qi fan in waiting...

    02/03/2009 at 10:53 am

    Of course, one has to remember, that once you view the videos on the Pixel Qi web site, keeping in focus the videos that are linked to Big Think (short interviews with Mary Lou Jeppsen, the former CTO of OLPC for the XO-1).

    It is then we learn that it is all about the screen. AND that Mary Lou already is back licensing tech to OLPC and it seems has her HEART into doing good for kids the world over.

    See Pixel Qi’s web site, view the Big Think Videos on the PRESS page of that web site, and then walk away with the clearer vision that the OLPC web site is lacking.

    OLPC is not only about the kids, it is about the environment, saving power use, and all the things that we need to be doing going forward. I can see every corporate desktop (overpowered and using too much electricty), having a OLPC Open Sourced designed machine RUNNING and having 15-20 hours of backup battery time (say good-bye to APC powerchute as it is not needed at the workstation at all), and with only a few watts of power used, then the AIR CONDITIONING costs, along with the gereral electric bill at any corporation using this OPEN SOURCE designed based commercial offering, will be advancing not only their own bottom lines, but the bottom line for the environment as well… just imagine, if the OLPC kids in 3 rd world can power these things with just a solar cell, then why not put a few panels on the corporate roof tops and power all your IT electrical needs and have a full day of battery backup per desktop so that if the power goes out you don’t have people sitting on their hands and collecting a paycheck to do only that.

    To grasp it all, you need an imagination, forward thinking and a FULL VIEWING of the BIG THING videos on the Pixel Qi Press web page.

    Go there now, (and then email Mary Lou and get an interview)…!

    I want to know what netbook that the new screens will show up in next? AND with the motherboard that shuts off when we don’t need it on, and with environmentally friendly battery (can be recyled into fertizer) that cost only $10 to replace, etc – the list of OLPC tech advantages for everyday use, and for the environmental benefit of the planet, are in the specs!

  2. Jonathan Brill

    02/11/2009 at 8:12 pm

    Uh, open source hardware … They are selling to governments. Governments want standardization and version control. This is how governments have and always will operate.

    Maybe one day OLPC will learn to keep it simple, listen to their customers and be successful. The trick here ISN’T technology innovation. It’s pushing through the distribution channels.

    It the third time the charm?

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