The One Laptop Per Child Foundation (OLPC), a group that wants to help educate children in developing countries, is receiving a $5.6 million grant from chipset maker Marvell to develop Android tablets using their chips. In their past mission, OLPC tried to develop affordable $100 laptops, but didn’t have much success as the costs to manufacture and distribute exceeded expectations. Hopefully, with support like this, and with a light weight mobile operating system like Android, they can do a better job this time around.
Android devices these days are becoming much more affordable, and most of the desktop-style apps, like word processing, are done in the cloud via web apps such as Google Docs. This seems like the right move for OLPC and the chances of success seem much higher going this route then trying to build a machine powerful enough to run desktop software. Marvell and OLPC hope to have a prototype to show off at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas early this January but arn’t making any promises.