MIT is creating $100 portable computer

by Latok on 02-02-2005, 23:47
Topic: MSX Revival
Languages:

During an interview last friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Nicholas Negroponte, the founder and chairman of the MIT Media Lab, has revealed some very interesting and especially very familiar plans. The MIT Media Lab wants to develop a $100 portable computer for the developing world. According to Negroponte, the MIT has obtained promises of support from an impressive number of major companies, such as Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Google, Motorola, Samsung and News Corp.

The low-cost computer will have a 14-inch color screen, AMD chips and will run Linux software. It will also have satellite capacity. Negroponte and his supporters are planning to create a company that will manufacture and market the new portable PC, with MIT as one of the stakeholders.

A prototype for this device is nearly ready. Production should start in about 18 months from now. The idea is to develop educational software and have this computer replace textbooks at schools. The portable PC will be shipped directly to education ministries, with China first on the list. Only orders of 1 million or more units will be accepted.

Now where have we heard all this before. Of course, it's speculation, but it seems like this in fact is the project Kazuhiko Nishi was talking about during his lecture at the Tilburg MSX fair 2001. Also check these sheets. Does this mean Negroponte is in fact talking about the new commercial MSX we're all waiting for? What's Nishi's position in all this? Are there any chances for this device being called 'MSX'? We don't know, but it sure is an interesting development which we will follow with more than normal interest.

Relevant link: Red Herring

Comments (23)

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5825)

mars2000you's picture

02-02-2005, 23:57

>The low-cost computer will have a 14-inch color screen, AMD chips and will run Linux software

AMD chips !!!! One more proof that AMD is better than Intel Smile

By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

03-02-2005, 00:04

It is not completely sure Nishi has got something to do with this project, neither is it completely certain that MSX has got something to do with it. Still, I spotted some striking similarities Wink Interesting indeed.

By Sander

Founder (1864)

Sander's picture

03-02-2005, 00:46

Mars: not proof that AMD is better. Just that their chips are cheaper Wink

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5825)

mars2000you's picture

03-02-2005, 00:56

If I compare my personal AMD-XP with the Pentium 4 that I use at the office, I'm really more satisfied with the performances of my AMD-XP.

And it was already the case in the past when I compared my previous personal PC (an AMD Athlon) with the Pentium that I had at the office ....

But of course, it's personal sensibility Smile

By Grauw

Ascended (9688)

Grauw's picture

03-02-2005, 01:30

Nishi was talking about ARM, not AMD...

By Niles

Hero (545)

Niles's picture

03-02-2005, 09:04

AMD, Intel, Zilog, Motorola... nevermind. All chips works well, and makes our world easier and funny ^_^

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

Sonic_aka_T's picture

03-02-2005, 09:43

That statement is correct once you take the word 'Motorola' out of that sentence...

By [D-Tail]

Ascended (8243)

[D-Tail]'s picture

03-02-2005, 10:05

It seems like certain to me that MSX will have something to do with this. Anyone downloaded his sheets? You'll see a chart similar to Nishi's One Chip MSX design. UPC (Universal Personal Computer (== One Chip MSX)) has for example PSG and OPLL at its disposal. Coincidence? Don't think so Wink

By Latok

msx guru (3817)

Latok's picture

03-02-2005, 10:43

Well, the PSG and OPLL being present in those sheets is indeed very funny. I believe they weren't meant to be there. Or it's a hidden sign to the MSX scene, but that would be very wishful thinking Smile Nishi just forgot to delete the PSG and OPLL remarks.....They were still in there coz of the Tilburg 2001 lecture for which lecture he had to put in MSX remarks everywhere to make it look MSX-ish.....hehehe......

By Arjan

Paladin (718)

Arjan's picture

03-02-2005, 10:48

note that AMD chips can also mean flash memory. Plus, Motorola has licensed ARM architecture, so this cheap computer can still be ARM-based.

You may also find this report by ag0ny about the Universal Knowledge project interesting

By pitpan

Prophet (3135)

pitpan's picture

03-02-2005, 10:49

Just in case you need some more details, read and look at these pages:

http://www.ag0ny.com/boston-200107.php

I guess that Mr. Nishi is involved, as well as other "brilliant" MSXers. But of course this is only gossiping!

By Arjan

Paladin (718)

Arjan's picture

03-02-2005, 11:22

heh exactly the same link Tongue MRC should do something about the display of links in reactions to newsposts Tongue

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

Sonic_aka_T's picture

03-02-2005, 11:41

Hmm... reading the original post I can't help but think someone just ripped of Nishi's ideas and design... Had this been the oneChip MSX or a spin-off you'd think they would've at least mentioned Nishi's name...

By Latok

msx guru (3817)

Latok's picture

03-02-2005, 12:33

Sonic, maybe Nishi ripped off their ideas? Wink I think it's a common MIT effort, all this....

By pitpan

Prophet (3135)

pitpan's picture

03-02-2005, 13:38

The same link? I haven't seen it. The topic just reminded me of ag0ny's photo reports. That's all. Sorry for any inconvenience.

By Arjan

Paladin (718)

Arjan's picture

03-02-2005, 13:45

That's what I mean, you missed the link because it didn't look like a link Tongue Just move over the word 'report' in the message I posted just before you (actually there was only one minute in-between, that could also have been the problem)

By pitpan

Prophet (3135)

pitpan's picture

03-02-2005, 13:59

Right, Arjan. Yes, some kind of "link indicator syntax" would be nice. Underline the links?

By [D-Tail]

Ascended (8243)

[D-Tail]'s picture

03-02-2005, 23:00

Normally links are displayed bold ;)

By [D-Tail]

Ascended (8243)

[D-Tail]'s picture

03-02-2005, 23:01

Normally links are displayed in bold.

Had to do this one twice, as it doesn't do so in reactions :\

By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

03-02-2005, 23:02

And I already coded the fix + an edit-function for users. Especially the latter needs a little testing though, somewhere next week it'll go in the wild I guess Wink

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

07-02-2005, 06:24

First, I'm not involved in the Universal Knowledge anymore. I uploaded these photos to my website three and a half years ago. That's a lot of time. I don't know what the current status is.

My *GUESS* is that both things (MIT's $100 computer and the 1-chip-MSX) are either the same thing, or closely related. The originally expected price for the 1-chip-MSX was 10000 yen ($95 at today's exchange rate).

The 1-chip-MSX board doesn't contain an AMD CPU, but that doesn't mean that you can't load an AMD core on its fat FPGA:

http://www.ag0ny.com/misc/ObsoNET_en_1-chip-MSX/f1000043.jpg

This is of course speculation, as I don't have any details of what's going on at the MIT.

Regards,

By djh1697

Paragon (1533)

djh1697's picture

07-02-2005, 19:19

By Latok

msx guru (3817)

Latok's picture

08-02-2005, 12:55

Thanks for that BBC-link Smile