Taiwan-based original design manufacturer Quanta Computer Inc. has been chosen as the ODM for the $100 laptop project sponsored by non-profit organization One Laptop Per Child.
Quanta has agreed to devote significant engineering resources from the Quanta Research Institute (QRI) the first half of 2006, with a target of bringing the product to market the fourth quarter.
The launch of 5 to 15 million units will be both in large-scale pilot projects in seven culturally diverse countries (China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, Nigeria, and Thailand), with one million units in each of these countries, and an additional modest allocation of machines to seed developer communities in a number of other selected countries. A commercial version of the machine will be explored in parallel.
One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is a Delaware-based, non-profit organization created by Nicholas Negroponte and other faculty members from the MIT Media Lab to design, manufacture, and distribute laptops that are sufficiently inexpensive to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education.
The laptops will be sold to governments and issued to children by schools on a basis of one laptop per child. These machines will be rugged, Linux-based, and can be turned on through hand-cranking alone. Mesh networking will give many machines Internet access from one connection.
The machines will be initially priced at $100, with pricing slated to steadily decrease afterwards.
Other companies supporting the initiative include Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Brightstar, Google, News Corp., Nortel, and Red Hat.