Intel ends partnership with One Laptop Per Child program
Microprocessor company Intel Corporation has quit the board of directors for the One Laptop Per Child association (OLPC), a non-profit organization that aims to provide children in developing countries with inexpensive laptops. An Intel spokesman cited a “philosophical impasse” as the reason for the split.
Intel joined the OLPC board in July 2007, agreeing to give financial and technological support to the project. Development began on a new laptop using an Intel processor rather than the current processor made by Advanced Micro Devices, a rival of Intel. A prototype of this machine was expected to be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Les Vegas, Nevada, which begins in a few days.
According to Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy, OLPC had repeatedly asked Intel to abandon its support for the Classmate PC, a similar laptop designed for children in developing countries, and focus entirely on the OLPC program. “At the end of the day, we decided we couldn’t accommodate that request,” Mulloy said.
OLPC President Walter Bender said in an interview that Intel’s resignation will have “no impact” on the program. “We never really got much going with Intel to have an impact,” Bender said. He criticized Intel for a “seemingly half-hearted effort” in developing the new laptops and for using the agreement to make “marketing statements”.