XO Gen 1.5

Tomeu Vizoso tomeu at sugarlabs.org
Sat Apr 18 13:41:02 EDT 2009

On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 19:27, Tiago Marques <tiagomnm at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 8:24 PM, John Watlington <wad at laptop.org> wrote:
>> OLPC is excited to announce that a refresh of the XO-1 laptop is in
>> progress.  In our continued effort to maintain a low price point, OLPC
>> is refreshing the hardware to take advantage of the latest component
>> technologies.  This refresh (Gen 1.5) is separate from the Gen 2.0
>> project, and will continue using the same industrial design and
>> batteries as Gen 1.  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 best news, probably.
>> 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.
> I'm hoping for a lot closer to 1GHz than 400MHz or it won't be much
> different than the current 433MHz Geode LX. It's still a very slow, in-order
> architecture.

Not sure about Windows or GNOME, but my IMO improvements in storage
(so NAND plus the filesystem used) and graphics hardware (plus it's
support by drivers) can improve a lot the performance of Sugar without
touching the processing power of the cpu.



> Best regards
>> The enabling chipset is hot off the fab line, the VX855 [2].  This
>> single chip provides the memory interface, a 3D graphics engine, an HD
>> video decoder, USB, SDIO, and other system interface and management
>> functions, in a low power and small footprint package.   One change
>> induced by the chipset change is a move from AC'97 to HD Audio.
>> This brings higher sampling rates and allows an upgrade to a stereo
>> external microphone (and DC sensor) input.
>> The CaFE chip is being retired, and replaced with an external Flash
>> management controller, possibly one of the low cost SSD controllers
>> currently being tested.  The camera will now be tied directly to the
>> VX855's video capture port.
>> The network interface will be upgraded to an 88W8686, which will halve
>> its power dissipation and move it to an SDIO interface (further
>> dropping the power consumption).   The current goal is to locate it
>> in a removable module, allowing its replacement for repair.   It will
>> remain powered while the laptop suspends, waking the laptop if a
>> packet addressed to it arrives.   It is likely that early production
>> models will not directly support 802.11s (i.e. forwarding mesh packets
>> while the interface is asleep), but we are working with Marvell on
>> several different 802.11s solutions.
>> Gen 1.5 will continue with the existing display, although OLPC is
>> working with PixelQi to try to improve the brightness and efficiency
>> of the screen.   The DCON is retained (even though the VX855 includes
>> much of its functionality) as it provides the low power interface and
>> the timing controller functions for the existing display.
>> Overall, the target is to match the Gen 1 XO-1 in power consumption
>> while making aggressive suspend easier, and in price (while changing
>> to components which are more likely to decrease in price).   It is
>> likely that both goals can be met.
>> We also expect the Gen 1.5 machines to ship with an OLPC 8.2.x
>> software release, modified to support Gen 1.5's new hardware but
>> otherwise unchanged from the current production software release and
>> compatible with our current software in the field.  Gen 1.5 machines
>> will be deployed in environments already populated by Gen 1 machines,
>> so seamless software interoperability is an important goal.
>> Early versions of the hardware (bare board) should be available for
>> driver development at the end of May.   A larger number of prototype
>> laptops (several hundred) for software development and testing will
>> become available around the end of August.   The OLPC contributors
>> program will be the preferred way of requesting a Gen 1.5 machine for
>> testing your software for compatibility or development.  We hope to
>> use the contributors program to ensure Gen 1.5 support for the wide
>> variety of application and OS solutions created for Gen 1.0.
>> We're excited to be finally able to make this news public.  While
>> members of the technical team have been working on this for several
>> months, it was not until last week that we could with any certainty
>> say that we were going to refresh the hardware and what that refresh
>> was likely to be.  We're now committed to this project and look
>> forward to working with you to make it happen.
>> ---John, Ed, and the OLPC Tech team.
>> ========
>> [1] http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/processors/c7-m_ulv/
>> [2] http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/chipsets/v-series/vx855
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