Chip-maker Marvell has granted One Laptop Per Child Foundation a $5.6 million grant so the latter can start developing cheap tablets running the Marvell processors.

    According to Xconomy, OLPC decided to trash plans for an e-book-looking laptop in order to concentrate in designing tablets. The tablet funded by Marvell will be called XO 3. While Marvell has long been a corporate sponsor for the OLPC Foundation, it is with this grant that they become part of the development process.

    OLPC and Marvell are currently working on a different tablet to show at the CES Las Vegas Electronics show in January. This tablet will be an intermediary step towards the one that OLPC want to shell out to developing countries. OLPC say they are making the XO 3 entirely out of plastic and with a two-mode display: for indoors and for bright light. Moreover, while the tablet to be displayed in Las Vegas will be based on Android, OLPC are working with a Linux OS.

    Nicholas Negroponte, head of OLPC, says that the tablet to be launched in January will not carry the OLPC logo, as it is developed for the First World countries, and merely as an education tool. His estimate is the XO 3 will be ready by 2012.

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    OLPC XO 3