XO Gen 1.5

Bobby Powers bobbypowers at gmail.com
Sat Apr 18 00:06:21 EDT 2009

On Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 11:04 PM, Neil Graham <Lerc at screamingduck.com> wrote:
> On Fri, 2009-04-17 at 15:24 -0400, John Watlington wrote:
>> The design goal is to provide an overall update
>> of the system within the same ID and external appearance.
>> In order to maximize compatibility with existing software, this
>> refresh will continue with an x86 processor, using a chipset from
>> VIA.  The memory will be increased to 1 GB of DDR2 SDRAM, and the
>> built-in storage will be 4 GB of NAND Flash with an option for 8 GB
>> (installed at manufacture).
>> The processor will be a VIA C7-M [1], with plans on using one whose
>> clock ranges from 400 MHz (1.5 W) to 1GHz (5 W).  The clock may be
>> throttled back automatically if necessary to meet thermal constraints.
> How much cheaper will the new system be?  I was under the impression
> that the idea was to allow the XO price to drop with technology gains
> rather than spec increase.
> Of course I'm happy to accept spec increases if they come as a result of
> cost savings, but wasn't cost supposed to be the priority?

The announcement mentions that the initial price is targeted to remain
roughly comparable, but that the newer components are likely to
decrease in cost over time.  As I understand it, several of the
current components (the SDRAM in particular) are old enough that OLPC
is the primary consumer.  Single suppliers and low demand != reduced
cost over time.

> Does this also mean that people who already own XOs will find that new
> software is going to require a computer more powerful than they
> currently have?  I thought that that was something that was going to be
> specifically avoided.

This is going to be a hard trap not to fall into, although several of
the primary activities (Browse and Write) are based on desktop
products that are not necessarily aimed at low-power or embedded
systems, so I don't know if things will actually be any different.


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