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Intel walks out of OLPC project

Short-lived love-in ends

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The controversial One Laptop Per Child project, which aims to provide children in the developing world with access to $100 laptops, has fallen out with Intel.

Although machines shipping now - to Libya, Brazil, Argentina and Thailand - are based on AMD chips, the OLPC was in talks to base a future version of the laptop on Intel processors.

Intel said OLPC visionary Nicholas Negroponte put pressure on the company to end sales of its Classmate laptop - a machine aimed at the same market as OLPC's XO laptop. Intel resigned its seat on the board after refusing this request.

Intel confirmed to reporters that it had left the project, but refused to give details. OLPC president Walter Bender said the row was not just about Classmate laptops. He said relations broke down because of "a complete lack of cooperation by Intel on software, learning etc", according to IDG. He accused Intel of treating the project as just another market.

Intel only joined the project in July 2007 and relations before that were frosty. In May 2007, Negroponte said the chip giant should be ashamed of itself for selling its Classmate machine for less than it cost to make in order to undermine OLPC's XO machine.

OLPC has struggled to control the total cost of its machine, which is now creeping towards $200. ®

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