Intel splits from $100 laptop programme

The XO laptop has been trialled in several countries such as Nigeria

Intel has pulled out of the OLPC project, designed to bring affordable computing to the developing world. The One Laptop Per Child project has long strived to produce a laptop at the $100 mark, even though the models currently shipping are clocking in at around the $180 mark.

Despite Intel developing its own low-cost Classmate PC, the chip-maker announced it was joining the project to offer technology and experience last July. And the first results of the partnership were expected at CES, which takes place in Las Vegas. We thought CEO Paul Ottelini would make reference to a new version of the OLPC running on an Intel chipset during his keynote on Monday.

The first version of the OLPC ran on a low-cost AMD chip, hence Intel's apparent desire to get involved. But it seems Intel's other ventures are connected with the split.

The split has been attributed to 'philosophical' differences between the two organisations. And it wouldn't be the first time. Early last year the founder of the OLPC project slammed Intel for attempting to undermine the not-for-profit organisation's efforts. Nicholas Negroponte said the corporation should be "ashamed of itself". He claimed that Intel was trying to undercut the OLPC laptop with its own low-cost PC - the Classmate.

And this may have continued to be the problem. The BBC reports that the OLPC organisation asked Intel to end its enthusiasm for the Classmate. "At the end of the day, we decided we couldn't accommodate that request," Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy told the corporation.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.