The One Laptop Per Child group could soon move to adopt an ARM based processor for its next generation XO Laptop. The move is interesting for a few reasons. First, ARM CPUs tend to consume far less power than x86 chips from companies like Intel, AMD, and VIA. And second, Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 aren’t designed to run on ARM processors. So while some work has been done to get Windows XP to run on the current XO Laptop alongside with a custom Linux interface called Sugar OS, there may be no Windows option for the XO-2.

OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte is calling on Microsoft to design a version of Windows that can run on ARM based processors. Right now the closest you can get is running Windows Mobile, which is an entirely different (and much more limited) operating system designed for cellphones and mobile devices.

The move away from the AMD Geode CPU used in current XO Laptops isn’t quite a done deal yet. But the final decision could be made soon.

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3 replies on “OLPC to use ARM CPU in next-gen XO laptop?”

  1. They should try RISCOS, which was developed specifically for ARM, which stands for the Advanced RISC Machine, and prior to that Acorn RISC Machine.

  2. Don’t make any bets on this. While it makes a lot of sense to use ARM, Microsoft will bring a lot of pressure to bear to keep this from happening. Remember what happened to the original OLPC once Microsoft got it’s hooks into the project?

    With all the interest in ARM I am willing to bet that somewhere deep inside Redmond they are working on a flavor of Windows (not CE) that will run on ARM.

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